Published online: May 12, 2009
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The most anticipated retail promotion of the year, the 2009 Potato Lover's Month Retail Display Contest, proved to be yet another blockbuster hit for the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) with over 2,150 entries, an 11 percent increase in participation over 2008. 
"Retailers have been telling us for years, 18 years to be exact, that this promotion works -- it helps sell potatoes and other produce during February, one of the slowest months for retail produce departments," said Seth Pemsler, Vice President, Retail/International, IPC. "And now that consumers are looking for more ways to stretch their dollars, retailers know that an eye-catching display will remind them of the great value delivered by Idaho potatoes. In addition, what retailer doesn't want to increase sales and possibly win a substantial cash prize for themselves and their store?" 
This year, for the first time, the IPC partnered with two healthy potato topping favorites, Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blends and Molly McButter to help retailers create mouth-watering sales-driving product displays. Overall, the contest generated entries from supermarkets of all sizes and from almost every state in the continental U.S. with each store incorporating customized and new point-of-sale materials to drive sales of Idaho potatoes, Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blends and Molly McButter.  
"From the thousands of entries we received, it's obvious the entrants have a great time designing and building their displays," added Pemsler. "It's especially gratifying when the displays include images from our ad campaigns. It ties everything together, giving consumers a more complete picture of all the benefits of Idaho potatoes -- healthy, affordable and versatile."   
And the Winners Are..
Total prizes awarded to all contest entrants exceeded $150,000 with $22,000 given as cash prizes to the top 115 participants (matching category manager prizes were also awarded): 
-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