The Idaho Potato Commission’s annual Potato Lover’s Month retail display promotion in February drew 5,032 entries, the most in the contest’s 23 years.
They competed for more than $150,000 in cash and prizes. The promotion cross merchandised Hormel’s Real Bacon Bits.
Country Market, Brooklyn, Mich., took first place among stores with 10 or more cash registers. The retailer used a truckload sale display against the background of a photo poster of the Great Big Idaho potato truck parked in front of the U.S. Capitol building.
Buehler’s Milltown, Wooster, Ohio, used an Olympics-themed display to finish first among stores with six to nine registers. It featured a “Going for the Gold” poster and a snowboarding Spuddy Buddy.
In the same category Sharon Brennan, produce manager at Pierce’s Marketplace, Baraboo, Wis., took second place for her tractor-themed Idaho potato display.
“It was something different and huge,” she said in a news release. “And the weeks it was up, I bet I increased sales 20% to 25%.”
Foodland, South Pittsburg, Tenn., won first place among retailers with one to five registers with a display dubbed Spud Dynasty.
A full list of winners is online. First place earned $1,500; second, $1,000; third, $750; fourth, $500; and fifth, $250. Equivalent cash prizes went to category managers for the retailers.
There was a separate contest among military commissaries.
To qualify, displays had to be in the produce section for at least one week between Jan. 27 and Feb. 28.
“In the middle of one of the coldest winters in decades, retailers warmed up their produce departments with eye-catching Idaho potato displays that stopped shoppers in their tracks, ” Jamie Bowen, commission marketing manager, said in the release.