Potato Lovers Month Boosts Sales for Retailers

Published online: Jan 12, 2018 Articles Rand Green
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Source: The Produce News

“Wada Farms is excited for the 2018 Idaho Potato Lovers Month,” said Eric Beck, marketing director for Wada Farms Marketing Group LLC in Idaho Falls, Idaho. “We’ve been participating” in the Idaho Potato Commission’s Potato Lover’s Month retail display promotion “for several years now,” he said. “We have seen retailers take advantage of this promotion and seen a great lift in their sales.”

Potato Lovers Month is February, although the commission now runs the display contest from mid-January to mid-March. Each year, the promotion provides “a great opportunity to really push the Idaho brand, a brand that has great recognition throughout the United States,” Beck said.

The Idaho brand also has a special regional appeal in the Northwest, since “Idaho is part of that Pacific Northwest territory. While Idaho potatoes are famous nationwide — and, for that matter, worldwide — folks in the Northwest take particular pride in the world’s most famous potatoes coming from their part of the country.

“People up here pay homage to the Idaho potato,” Beck said. “Local is a great selling feature” throughout the region for Idaho potatoes.

In the Northwest, as elsewhere in the United States, “Wada Farms is in a strategic position to help retail customers capitalize” on the Potato Lovers Month sales lift because of “our abilities in the supply chain from production all the way through logistics,” he said.

“It is exciting to see a lot of these retailers take the Idaho promotions to the next level with their creative Idaho potato displays in the produce department,” Beck continued. “We have seen some really exciting displays the past few years. We have seen tractors used” in the displays, as an example. “We have seen them make a mock potato sorting line. We have to give it to our retailers that really step up to make this promotion as grand as it can be by creating a feature in their produce department that really calls out Idaho potatoes.”

Of course, Wada Farms’ customers also feature many Wada products in their Potato Lovers Month displays, Beck said. There have even been instances where Wada products were used exclusively for the fresh potatoes in the display.

“Potato Lovers Month isn’t limited to the Idaho russet potatoes that Idaho has built its brand on,” he said. “Wada Farms also supplies quality Idaho potatoes in reds, yellows, fingerlings and organics. And then to further bring value to the customer, we have Wada value-added products” such as potatoes in microwave-ready packaging.

Wada Farms has more to offer customers than its products, however, Beck explained. “We have our field-to-fork supply chain efforts, where we can provide them with visibility as to where their product is coming from. We have services to help them with their transportation needs.” And for retailers who want to better understand “their category potential,” he said, “we encourage people to work with our sister company, Category Partners, with their category analysis and opportunities to further increase sales.”