Potato marketers say displays are a key part of driving sales, and new creative display ideas are on the rise.
“We have several very interesting things for retailers to choose from to help sell more potatoes,” said Andreas Trettin, director of marketing for Houston-based MountainKing Potatoes.
For the summer months, Mountain-King offers a grilling display bin, designed to promote the company’s “8 Minute Grilling” promotion.
The potato bags, designed for use with the grilling bin, feature instructions for cooking potatoes on the grill. Point-of-sale materials and other display tools are also available.
“We’ve had great results with that. A lot of stores like to buy that grilling bin to use all summer long,” Trettin said.
Other times of the year, MountainKing offers a preprinted fingerling potato bin designed to look like a stainless steel oven with a plate of fingerling potatoes cooking inside.
“It suggestively sells how to prepare the product,” Trettin said.
Other options include a specially designed display for the Butter Gold and Butter Red potatoes, as well as Steakhouse Baker boxes that serve as a base for larger displays.
MountainKing also offers quarter-pallet-sized Tater Town display boxes, designed to hold small packages and stack vertically to take up less floor space. Each display can be stacked five boxes high.
Trettin suggests stores use these smaller bins in areas outside the produce area to increase sales.
“Right now, most potatoes are displayed in position 10, and consumers have to go looking for them. We can give them tools to display them in other areas, like next to the meat counter to sell more produce as impulse items,” he said.
These impulse sales help drive other purchases, according to Trettin.
“If retailers sell potatoes to a consumer, it triples their grocery cart size because it gets people to think about rib eyes and fish and sour cream and butter,” he said.
Potandon Produce LLC, Idaho Falls, Idaho, also puts a strong focus on retail displays.
“In-store displays demand attention from consumers in a way that helps increase sales,” marketing supervisor Barbara Keckler said.
Keckler also said display contests are a large part of potato displays.
“Display contests increase awareness of the consumer by offering them something new to try — new recipes, new potato products, and new ideas, which is what today’s consumers are looking for,” she said in an e-mail.
Convenience for retailers
Wada Farms Marketing Group LLC, Idaho Falls, has new bin options, including a 1,000-pound bin display that has a wood-grain texture and a more generic Idaho potatoes label to make it easier for retailers to offer several brands from one display.
“We pack several labels, so the previous display kind of had its limitations on the variety or label you could pack in the bin,” marketing director Chris Wada said. “This is branded only as Idaho potatoes, so it’s self-promoting in that way.”
Wada said the bin is convenient for retailers because minimal effort is needed to set it up.
Another new option is a specialty, secondary display that consists of a base for retailers to use to market specialty potato offerings separate from the traditional 5- or 10-pound bag displays.
“It’s a base that can be a semi-permanent display within the produce section and then shipping containers are sent in and placed directly into this base,” Wada said.
Ideally, Wada recommends using this base to display a variety of products.
“Every few weeks or month, a different item can be shown hopefully to get consumers to focus in on specialty items,” he said.
Shippers agree convenience for retailers is important for these displays.
“It can be set up in five or ten seconds,” Wada said. “I’m not sure how you could make it any easier.”