Pump Up Potato Sales During Potato Lovers Month $150,000 in Cash and Prizes to be Awarded

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EAGLE, Idaho, January 5, 2009 -- It's back…one of the industry's most anticipated retail promotions of the year…the Idaho Potato Retail Display Contest. With more than $150,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs and a free DVD/MP3 Player to all qualified entrants, everyone's a winner…guaranteed!

This year, for the first time, Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blends and Molly McButter are joining the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) to help pump up sales in the produce department. These healthy potato-topping favorites are a perfect partner for America's most famous spud. Now in its 18th year, this contest continues to attract huge support from retailers from across the country. Last year, 2,000 entries were received!

"Participating in this contest is a proven way to help boost sales in February, usually one of the slowest months of the year for produce sales," said Seth Pemsler, VP, Retail/International, IPC. "Most of the displays end up being so creative and engaging that consumers can't help but buy a few Idaho Potatoes and toppings."

Prize money will be awarded to the top five finishers in three different store categories (with matching category manager prizes):

  • 1st Place winners receive $1,500 each

  • 2nd Place winners receive $1,000 each

  • 3rd Place winners receive $750 each

  • 4th Place winners receive $500 each

  • 5th Place winners receive $250 each

Plus, $100 will be awarded to each of 100 Honorable Mention winners from the remaining entries.

In total, 115 Display Contest cash prizes will be awarded, totaling over $22,000. Category managers, if your store wins a top prize (1st - 5th place prizes) the prize will be matched, so you win, too!

The IPC and contest partners Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blends and Molly McButter are hoping this year's contest will draw even more entries than last year's. A new POS display kit will help fuel retailers' creativity to make a sales-driving product display. The kit is available at www.idahopotato.com/retail and includes:

  • Four 2-sided Potato Lovers Month display pieces

  • Two inflatable Mylar Spuddy Buddies

  • A 2-sided sign featuring appetizing photos to decorate your displays

"I am particularly excited this year about our new partnership with Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blends and Molly McButter," continued Pemsler. "Both are healthy and affordable toppings that consumers can easily pair with Idaho Potatoes."

Clip art is available on the Idaho Potato Commission website to help create custom display signs. And, if you're looking for a little inspiration, high-resolution photos of last year's display contest winners and photos of the winning advertising spreads are available for viewing online at www.idahopotato.com/retail.

Potato Lover's Month Retail Display Contest Details
To enter, stores are asked to create an attention-getting display that promotes an Idaho® Potato product (fresh and dehydrated) with Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blends and Molly McButter.

The contest is open to retail supermarket chains and independents only. (There are three levels of store categories, retailers should review the official rules to determine which category they fit into.) Displays must be in place at least one week during the January 26 - February 27, 2009 contest period. The displays must be set up in the produce section of the store and must include all the following products:

  • Fresh Idaho Potatoes (bag, bulk or both) that have a clearly discernable label showing the Idaho name and the 'Grown in Idaho' seal

  • A clearly marked Idaho dehydrated potato product

  • Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blends And Molly McButter

Displays may not include potato products from other states.

Retailers can use the POS materials (outlined earlier) and/or they may create their own display support materials. Creativity is encouraged! Entries are limited to one per store. To enter online (or to obtain an entry form), retailers must visit www.idahopotato.com/retail, click on "Potato Lover's Month Display Contest" and follow the directions.

Judging Criteria
Entries will be judged and prizes awarded by the Potato Lover's Month Retail Display Contest Review Committee. Entries will be judged on the following criteria: use of Potato Lover's Month signage; creativity of the display; how the display incorporates the partner products; and perceived salability of the display.

All entries must be received no later than March 31, 2009. All winners will be notified by May 1, 2009 and posted on www.idahopotato.com/retail.

The Idaho Potato Commission is a state agency that is primarily responsible for expanding the markets for Idaho grown potatoes through advertising, promotion and research. The Commission also protects the use of the "Idaho® Potato" and "Grown in Idaho®" seals, which are federally registered Certification Marks that belong to the IPC. These Marks ensure that consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho.