Boost excitement, sales and profit during Potato Lover’s Month

Boost excitement, sales and profit during Potato Lover’s Month

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

The familiar opening to this Elizabeth Browning poem speaks to affection as we commonly know it, especially leading up to Valentine’s Day. In the world of produce, February is also Potato Lover’s Month. Coincidence? I think not.

Why promote a category that is the antithesis of the sexy lead produce items often found on the front page of ads? (You know, in-season strawberries and highly anticipated items like cherries and stone fruit.)

The answer is that the humble potato table tucked away in the back of your department is in fact a sales-and-gross-profit gold mine, should you choose to develop its riches.

Here’s a few thoughts on how to build potato displays – maybe even for the Idaho Potato Commission’s big annual contest coming up soon? – with a little creativity to help increase sales and profit.

Need some inspiration? Check out these winning displays from the 2020 contest.

Think big

Bountiful displays sell more product. If you build spillover displays or park heaping bin potato displays in a prominent traffic location such as at the front of the department or in the store lobby area, this will slow down shoppers and capture added sales.

Build your display big but also practical.

Can it be shopped from several angles? Can it be easily stocked and rotated?

Is the display neatly stocked, culled, full and level? Can you use shipper’s cartons, burlap accents or bushel baskets?

Color and theme

Use multiple varieties and packs, bags and bulk, creating color breaks. If your display is for contest, consider incorporating a theme.

One produce manager I know built a potato display that resembled a mining operation, with the bin “cars” stocked with alternating varieties of potatoes and inexpensive, related props further playing into the theme.

You can see, when you look at the winners from the 2020 contest, that the sky is the limit when it comes to creativity on displays for this popular showcase of potatoes and produce department professionals.

Secondary displays and cross-merchandising

Can you build a secondary display near the meat case? Near the butter or sour cream kiosk?

If you can, you’ll sell more potatoes simply by getting customers who make the obvious connection.

Sign for success

Big displays call for big signage. The Idaho Potato Commission offers plenty of complimentary point-of-purchase materials to spice up displays, but you can also add your own creativity to call out all the great attributes of potatoes: fat-free, heart-healthy, versatile, satisfying and delicious.

One more contest note …

When submitting a photograph for the Potato Lover’s Month contest, take the time to make sure there’s nothing in the pic to distract from your masterpiece, no background clutter or debris. Take lots of photos from several angles and send in your clearest display shot.

Exciting potato displays may take a little extra effort. However, they are also great for team building. When you get your crew involved and get your store manager to buy into your plan, contest prizes could be just a display away!

Most importantly, added potato sales builds customer satisfaction and boost sales, and potatoes are naturally a healthy gross profit category.

That’s all for today … from your humble produce common-tater.  

Armand Lobato works for the Idaho Potato Commission. His 40 years’ experience in the produce business span a range of foodservice and retail positions. E-mail him at

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