In real life, the four directors attend major trade shows and participate with trade associations. They also offer assistance with category management. The directors can assist retailers by analyzing data from the Denver-based U.S. Potato Board and from Market Track.
Pemsler said the commission has a database of every potato advertisement from throughout the U.S., and it can provide digital copies of the most recent three months of competitors’ ads to its customers.
The commission also supports retailers’ marketing by offering ad support. Retailers are paid for placing the Idaho logo in their ads.
The U.S. Potato Board provides consumer data and analyses, formal and informal marketing training, sales data and analysis and collaborative assistance to retailers, said Kathleen Triou, vice president of domestic marketing.
The board’s Best in Class Program recommends that retailers stock an assortment of potatoes and display them by variety. Ad circulars should include bag, bulk and multiple varieties, along with educational information. Point-of-sale educational materials such as signs, recipes, nutrition information and preparation tips should be on display.
Wada Farms Marketing Group LLC, Idaho Falls, Idaho, is a part-owner of Category Partners LLC, which provides category management for retailers, said Kevin Stanger, Wada senior vice president.
He said Mac Johnson, chief executive officer of Category Partners, and his team can help retailers with market and industry research, consumer trend studies, and advertising and marketing development.
About 35% of Wada’s fresh potatoes are marketed under the Dole label, Stanger said. Dole’s prestige and financial resources help it reach end-users with marketing and advertising.
Wada does many cross-promotions with Dole potatoes, including some that offer free or discounted Dole bagged salads with potato purchases. Other tie-ins have included beef, potato toppings, sour cream and sausage, Stanger said.
With a shipper’s label or a store-brand label, retailers might use display-ready containers and bins, coupons and promotional tie-ins to draw shoppers to potatoes.
Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, East Grand Forks, Minn., gets only occasional requests for signs. Most retailers prefer to use their own point-of-sale materials so they can achieve a consistent look throughout the produce department, said Ted Kreis, marketing director.