EAGLE, Idaho — The Idaho Potato Commission here has announced its 17th annual Potato Lover's Month Retail Display Contest, featuring more than $150,000 in cash and merchandise prizes for supermarkets that create displays featuring Idaho potatoes and selected Kraft products for at least one week during the month of February.
Display creators will have the opportunity to win first- through fifth-place prizes ranging from $1,250 to $250, awarded in three separate categories based on store size.
In addition, category managers are eligible to receive matching cash prizes if one of their stores nets a first- through fifth-place finish. One hundred honorable mention winners will also receive $100 each, and every eligible contestant will receive a Swiss Army brand watch for entering.
A separate program will award ad managers who promote the special display in a store circular.
“In addition to the watch and opportunity to win cash, participating retailers usually see a significant bump in sales not only in the potato category, but across the entire produce department during this promotion, and February is typically a slow month for sales,” Seth Pemsler, vice president retail/international for the Idaho Potato Commission, said in a release announcing the contest.
Last year's contest drew more than 2,000 entries from throughout the United States, many of which emphasized healthy aspects of potatoes — such as their potassium and vitamin content — in addition to developing innovative cross-merchandising schemes.
Although the contest does not require the use of any specific point-of-sale materials, the IPC has made available a new display kit that includes four two-sided displays, two inflatable Mylar “spuddy buddies” and signage featuring photos of cooked potatoes to decorate displays. Clip art for custom signs has also been added to IPC's website, idahopotato.com, where prospective entrants can also check out contest rules, download entry forms and view high-resolution photos of the displays created by last year's contest winners.