Commission hopes promotion racks up jumbo potato sales

11/09/2012 10:35:00 AM
Vicky Boyd

The Idaho Potato Commission has launched a jumbo retail promotion that involves big bins of bagged substantially sized spuds.

The bin program, which is scheduled to run Nov. 1 through Jan. 1, is not part of the Eagle, Idaho-based commission’s annual marketing and advertising campaign that includes the February Potato Lover’s Month retail display contest, said Seth Pemsler, vice president of retail and international sales.

Instead, it’s a tactical move designed to benefit the market when there are size-balance issues, he said.

The commission has turned to bin promotions five times during the past eight years.

“It’s been a phenomenally successful program,” Pemsler said. “Not only does it generate sales of the specific items, but it also creates a floor display with a built-in package display.”

This season, Idaho’s grower-shippers are having to deal with a larger size profile than normal.

The November kickoff also is the earliest the commission has run a bin promotion, he said. Some previous efforts have run as late as May or June.

Under Idaho statutes, size A bags must contain 4.5- to 9-ounce potatoes.

Potatoes 9 ounces or larger are designated as jumbo, and shippers typically consider them a premium product, packing them in 40- to 60-count bulk cartons, he said.

If shippers do pack them in bags, the bags must be labeled “jumbo.”

Under the promotion, the commission will pay $10 for each 1,000-pound or larger bin of bagged jumbo-sized potatoes that are purchased, Pemsler said. Each bag must be at least 8 pounds.

The money, which is payment for floor space, goes directly to the first handler.

This year’s bin promotion coincides with the holiday season, traditionally a high demand period for potatoes, he said.

“In this case, the retailer gets to offer a premium product and at the same time they can offer it as a value to the consumer,” Pemsler said. “And it comes in a prepackaged display.”



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