SUN VALLEY, ID - The Idaho Potato Commission is getting ready to demonstrate to U.S. citizens the size and scope of potatoes from the Gem State with a cross-country tour featuring a depiction of the world's largest potato. The promotion will also help raise money for the national Meals on Wheels organization.
During his annual presentation of the commission's marketing activities at the Idaho Grower Shipper Association convention, held here Aug. 31-Sept. 2, IPC President Frank Muir announced that the commission was in the process of constructing a model of a giant Idaho russet potato that will be affixed to a semi-trailer and driven across the United States as a way of celebrating the 75th anniversary of the commission and the leadership position of Idaho potatoes in the marketplace.
The potato is scheduled to make its debut at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Dec. 17 at Boise State's Bronco Stadium, however he said that a push to complete construction early is underway in order to have it ready for a preview at the Boise State vs. TCU game Nov. 12 at Bronco Stadium.
While the World's Largest Potato is intended to help promote the "Grown in Idaho" brand, Mr. Muir said, "We're not just pounding our chests with this, we are going to use this to help raise money for a very worthy cause - Meals on Wheels. Each day, Meals on Wheels provides over 1 million meals to the elderly and shut-ins, who are often forgotten, and the IPC is not going to forget them. We're going to take the biggest Meals on Wheels across the country, and we are going to donate $100,000 to Meals on Wheels and use this promotion to help raise money for the organization
Mr. Muir added that philanthropic work greatly aids the commission's public relations efforts, and like previous work with UNICEF and other organizations, he expects the Meals on Wheels tie-in to accomplish that as well.
The tour will start in Boise and then make stops in Seattle, Portland, OR, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Austin, TX, Dallas, Miami, Orlando, FL, Charlotte, NC, Washington, DC, New York, Chicago, Denver and Salt Lake City.
"And while we are in Washington, DC, we'll get some great photo ops with our legislative folks, and we might even stop by USDA and hand out some pamphlets with information about just how nutritious Idaho potatoes are," said Mr. Muir.
The commission will take advantage of social media, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, to draw attention to the tour. "We want to get monster crowds out to see the truck, and we are working with all the safety officials in the cities to make sure we do what we need to do," he said.
The truck will leverage all of the IPC's promotion efforts by including the commission's 75th anniversary logo, the World Famous Idaho Potato Bowl logo, the American Heart Association Heart Check mark.