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Idaho Potato Commission launches media blitz to boost holiday potato sales

This holiday season family gatherings will look a little different than past years. A survey conducted by the research firm Morning Consult found that 47% of families say they will cancel holiday get-togethers. Almost half say they will shift from in-person celebrations to virtual.

Since this is the Idaho® potato industry’s busiest time of year, what does this mean for potato sales? “We know that potatoes are the most popular side dish on the Thanksgiving table, and we don’t expect that to change,” explained Frank Muir, President & CEO, Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). “We anticipate that Idaho® potatoes will remain at the top of shoppers’ lists, regardless of the number of people at their gatherings. We all know spuds can be prepared a variety of ways for one person or 25…and don’t forget the best part…the leftovers.” 

The IPC’s priority this season is to keep Idaho® potatoes top of mind, make shopping for potatoes easier than ever before, provide new recipe suggestions for those who may be entertaining fewer friends and family and remind consumers that the best way to normalize this unusual holiday season is to embrace traditions including comfort foods like Idaho® potatoes. 

A multi-tiered holiday campaign launched in early November and is designed to reach tens of millions of consumers across the country.

New National TV Commercial

The IPC begin airing its newest television commercial, called Side Dish, featuring Idaho® potatoes as anything but a side dish. The 30-, 15- and 10- second spots are airing on cable stations with extremely high viewership like Fox News, CNN, Headline News, History, Food Network, HGTV, Cooking Channel, Hallmark, NBC Sports, ESPN, Freeform, as well as streaming platforms Discovery Go and Hulu.

Digital Grocery

According to Supermarket News, nearly 80% of Americans have shopped for groceries online since the coronavirus outbreak. Experts believe this number will remain high for months to come, and through the holidays, Idaho® potatoes will be available to shoppers on three online grocery sites: Instacart, Albertsons and Kroger. Through targeted display ads and key word searches, boosted Idaho® potato searches, and digital aisle placements, the IPC will be able to increase Idaho’s share of online potato purchases during the busiest grocery shopping season of the year.

AllRecipes

When folks begin planning their holiday meals, there’s a good chance they’ll visit AllRecipes.com, the number one recipe site with over 29 million unique monthly visitors who are primarily women ages 25-54, one of the IPC’s target audiences. To promote Idaho® potatoes to website visitors, we’re creating new recipe videos, launching recipe integrations, posting banner ads and providing digital recipe cards.

Social Media

Idaho® potato’s social media presence has increased steadily every year due in large part to our partnerships. The IPC worked with the FeedFeed, a popular Instagram page with 1.9 million passionate foodie followers. During the first week of November a FeedFeed executive chef hosted a live culinary demo preparing Idaho® Potato Muffin Tin Gratins. Viewers had a chance to win fresh Idaho® potatoes, cookware and a Visa gift card.

Retail Support

The IPC’s new retail ad campaign uses striking imagery to capture retailers’ attention encouraging them to take a closer look at changing sales trends before placing their next potato order. This is especially important during this unique holiday season. To reinforce the message, the IPC emailed a flyer to all its retail customers encouraging them to stock up on Idaho® potatoes in November and December. The flyer, which can be found on the IPC website, is supported by sales data and underscores that consumers’ shopping habits are shifting toward larger pack sizes.  

Foodservice 

Unique and innovative uses for Idaho® potatoes is the theme of this year’s new print ad campaign that launched in September. Throughout the year, including the holidays, six different recipes, created by well-known chefs from across the country, will be prominently featured in magazines like PlateFlavor and the Menu and Restaurant Business.

The recipes range from plant-forward satay, to a twist on latkes and most importantly, all are “take-out” friendly — a major shift in service the restaurant industry has had to embrace due to coronavirus. We’re certain “take-out” will remain popular throughout the holidays and we want to make sure that Idaho® potatoes are on the menu.

These activities complement and are supported by an ongoing public relations program that include an extensive media outreach campaign prompting reporters to include Idaho® potatoes in their holiday stories.

Source: Idaho Potato Commission

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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