Record year for Potato Lover’s Month contest

A grand total of 5,266 retail displays nationwide flew the flag for Idaho potatoes in this year’s Potato Lover’s Month Display Contest — the most entrants ever in the competition’s 27-year history.iplm

“We couldn’t be more thrilled about all the enthusiasm for the Idaho potato brand,” said IPC Marketing Manager Jamie Bowen. “Retailers tell us they have a great time creating the displays, and shoppers love them. We also received a lot of really good comments this year about our free prize for everyone who entered, the Ninja Fit single-serve blender.”

John (Rich) Rosser, assistant manager for produce at Raley’s in Loomis, CA, chalked up a first place win for his store in the 10-plus registers category. Rosser did all of his own chalk art for the display, which featured a ski-jumping spud in Sun Valley, ID, in honor of the sweepstakes prize destination.

“I do all the drawings — I like to get creative,” said Rosser. “People migrate to [displays] like this. When we put it center stage, sales take off.”

For the six- to nine-registers category, Kroger J-915 in Elkhart, IN, won first place for its loving tribute to Idaho potatoes, topped by a giant heart framing a handsome tater couple clasping partner products Hormel Bacon Toppings and Hormel Chili. The state of Idaho was the center attraction in the Nebo Market display in Nephi, UT, which took first prize among stores with one to five registers. Illustrated Idaho fun facts, along with a carved-foam spud family riding in an old wooden wagon, served as backdrop for a wide variety of Idaho potato products.

For the first time, this year’s retail display contest also included a random sweepstakes drawing for an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Sun Valley, ID, which went to Bob Gagnon, manager of Ahart’s Market in Bath, PA. Thanks to the Category Manager Match Program, the store’s category manager will also be heading to the spectacular all-season resort.

“I am always amazed at the creativeness I see in the displays with this program,” said Corrine Hjelmen, Hormel Bacon Toppings brand manager. “This year was no exception — the entrants did a fantastic job of coming up with new ideas, larger displays and very unique themes to make this program a success. Potatoes, bacon and chili create a perfect combination of deliciousness!”

Retailers vied with other same-size stores in one of three categories: one to five cash registers, six to nine cash registers, or 10-plus cash registers. Within each store category, entrants competed for these prizes:

first place — $1,500; second place — $1,000; third place — $750; fourth place — $500; fifth place — $250; and Honorable Mention — $100 (100 selected from remaining entries).

In addition, the Category Manager Match Program awarded equivalent prizes to corporate category managers for stores that qualified for first through fifth place prizes, and everyone who entered the contest received a free Ninja Fit single-serve blender.

Each in-store display was required to incorporate clearly marked fresh Idaho potatoes (bag, bulk or both), an Idaho dehydrated potato product and Hormel Real Bacon Toppings and Hormel Chili. The displays also needed to feature IPC point-of-sale materials, including double-sided Potato Lover’s Month logo display signs, one large and two small double-sided signs with appetizing photos, and two inflatable Mylar Spuddy Buddy balloons. Retailers had to showcase the display in their store’s produce section for at least one week from Jan. 15 through March 16.

For photographs of the winning displays and a complete list of winners, visit www.IdahoPotato.com/Retail.

First Place Retail Display Winners
One to five cash registers: Kenneth Warren Daniels; Nebo Market; Nephi, UT
Six to nine cash registers: Julie Bolton; Kroger J-915; Elkhart, IN
10-plus cash registers: John (Rich) Rosser; Raley’s; Loomis, CA

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