Daniel VanderhorstFrank Muir, Idaho Potato Commission president and CEO, gives attendees an update of the commission's 2013-14 activities and a preview of the next year.SUN VALLEY, Idaho — The Idaho Potato Commission has had a successful year of promoting Idaho potatoes with lots more in the works for the coming year — including the return of the iconic giant potato truck.
Frank Muir, the commission’s president and CEO, presented attendees of the Idaho Grower-Shipper Association’s 86th annual convention with a report on the commission’s promotional activities. Muir also outlined lessons learned over the last year and the commission’s goals for 2015.
Outgoing IPC chairman Dan Moss was also recognized for his service to the commission and the industry over the last fiscal year. Boyd Foster, who was vice chairman last year, will serve as the commission’s new chairman.
Muir reminded grower-shippers of lessons learned over the last two years. He stressed the need to avoid panic as the primary lesson re-learned this year.
“Panic always leads to lost profits,” he said.
Panic about oversupply drove prices down significantly after Memorial Day, said Muir. He also urged caution in letting gloomy forecasts reported by the press create self-fulfilling prophecy.
This year marked the Idaho potato truck’s third tour around the nation. Muir declared the ongoing tour a success so far. In fact, the commission has decided to continue the tour for another two years. The truck has been decorated to highlight the potato’s status as an American Heart Association certified heart-healthy food and the commission’s support for the AHA’s Go Red for Women program. The round Idaho potato logo is also displayed prominently, along with potato nutrition information that taps into current health trends.
The commission has continued a full schedule of advertising and promotional activities, in addition to the truck tour, Muir said.
These include putting on the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, running television commercials featuring grower Mark Coombs, sponsoring RODS and supporting the New Year’s Eve Idaho Potato Drop. The commission also maintains a very active social media presence and partners with food bloggers, Muir said.