EAGLE, Idaho-Consumers weren't the only ones professing their love for Idaho potatoes during the annual Potato Lover's Month retail celebration in February. Supermarket chains and independent retailers alike submitted 4,049 entries in the Idaho Potato Commission's (IPC) 2013 retail display contest-the highest total ever in the competition's 22 years and more than double the average number of entries over the past eight years.
Potato passion was the theme of more than one winning display in the 2013 contest, which awarded more than $150,000 in cash and prizes, including a Swiss Army backpack with padded computer pockets for everyone who entered. Marsh Supermarket on West 86th Street in Indianapolis took top honors among stores with 6-9 cash registers for its "Fall in Love with Idaho Potatoes" display, complete with a floor-to-ceiling castle guarded by inflatable Mylar Spuddy Buddies.
Kirkpatrick's Foodland in South Pittsburg, Tenn., captured first place in the 1-5 registers category for its display proclaiming that America's new "Idol" is Idaho potatoes. And Sweetbay Supermarket in Wesley Chapel, Fla., the first place winner for stores with 10-plus registers, paid homage to consumers' love affair with the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck's cross-country tour last summer by re-creating the super spud-mobile for its display-at a size considerably less than life-size, of course.
"Customer-pleasing displays like these do more than drive Idaho potato sales," says Jamie Bowen, Retail Marketing Manager. "Many produce managers tell us that the displays help boost sales for their entire produce department during what can be a slow month. And retailers have a chance to win substantial cash prizes, including a matching cash prize for the store's category manager."
Within each store category, entrants were eligible to win these prizes:
1st place - $1,500
2nd place - $1,000
3rd place - $750
4th place - $500
5th place - $250
For photographs of the winning displays and a complete list of winners, visit http://retail.idahopotato.com/plm_2013.