The Idaho Potato Commission’s four-man Field Force, immortalized in a series of comic-book-style ads, continues to jet across the country advising retailers on how to make their potato category more profitable.
“We call on every retailer in the U.S. (of a certain size) two to four times a year,” said Seth Pemsler, the commission’s vice president of retail.
“There’s so much turnover at the category manager and buyer level,” he said, “that half the time we’re calling on someone who has not sold potatoes before.”
Since Idaho represents one-third of the potato category, helping retailers increase category sales is a win for everyone, Pemsler said.
“We don’t sell anything. We’re an association,” he said. “All we do is promote and say, ‘Hey, if we help you sell more, we know it’s going to help Idaho. That’s our role and our goal.’”
The commission also gives retailers a financial incentive to advertise Idaho potatoes.
“Every time they advertise Idaho potatoes and include our seal and the word Idaho, we provide funds,” he said. “We offer them two contracts per year for four months.”
Also upcoming is the 20th anniversary of its Potato Lover’s Month contest, offering up to $34,000 in cash prizes.