EAGLE, Idaho - Shoppers will be hoofing it over to produce aisles nationwide this February as retailers unveil their latest potato-themed creations for the Idaho Potato Commission's 23rd annual Potato Lover's Month Retail Display Contest.
But boosting potato sales isn't the only bonus for retailers who enter the nation's largest vegetable display contest. IPC will give out $150,000 in cash and prizes ($34,000 in cash prizes alone) for the winning displays, and all who participate will receive a free BlueROCK wireless Bluetooth speaker with auxiliary and charging cables included.
For the second year in a row, IPC is partnering with Hormel Real Bacon Bits to feed consumers' insatiable appetite for bacon along with their favorite potato dishes. Each display must combine fresh Idaho potatoes, Idaho dehydrated potato products and Hormel Real Bacon Bits in addition to special eye-catching IPC point-of-sale materials: two round double-sided Potato Lover's Month logo signs, a large and a small double-sided sign with an appetizing baked potato photo, and two inflatable Mylar Spuddy Buddies.
"A steaming hot Idaho baked potato topped with crunchy bacon bits is the perfect winter pick-me-up for family dinners," said Jamie Bowen, IPC marketing manager. "Spicing up the produce department with an imaginative, colorful display featuring these two great tastes is a great way to turn up the heat on February sales. Our retailers have found that their Idaho potato displays really pay off for them throughout the entire produce department."
Last year's top showstoppers, for instance, included a floor-to-ceiling "castle" display guarded by Spuddy Buddies, a scaled-down version of the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck that toured the country spreading potato fever, and an American Idol-themed display starring Idaho potatoes. Other display contest entries have run the gamut from football fields filled with potato players to smoking "volcanoes" in honor of Idaho's vaunted volcanic soil.
Retailers will compete 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. Entrants within each store category are eligible to win one of these prizes:
- 1st place - $1,500
- 2nd place - $1,000
- 3rd place - $750
- 4th place - $500
- 5th place - $250
In addition, the Category Manager Match Program will award equivalent cash prizes to category managers at stores that qualify for a first- through fifth-place prize. One hundred displays selected from the remaining entries will win honorable mention prizes of $100.
Here's how to enter the IPC Potato Lover's Month 2014 Retail Display Contest:
- Using fresh Idaho potatoes (bag, bulk or both), an Idaho dehydrated potato product, and Hormel Real Bacon Bits, create an eye-catching display following the contest rules (available at www.IdahoPotato.com/Retail).
- Put up the display in your store's produce section for at least one week between Jan. 27 and Feb. 28, 2014.
- Submit a picture (digital preferred) of the display and an entry form (available at www.IdahoPotato.com/Retail) to IPC so that it's received no later than March 15, 2014. Winners will be notified by May 1, 2014, and posted on www.IdahoPotato.com/Retail.
All entries will be judged on use of Potato Lover's Month signage, creativity of the display, how the display incorporates the partner products, and perceived salability of the display. Judging will be done by the Potato Lover's Month Display Contest Review Committee.
Source: Idaho Potato Commission