Nov 25, 2020IPC doing plenty to keep Idaho potatoes on tables this holiday season
This holiday season family gatherings will look a little different than past years.
A survey conducted by 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 sales? Potatoes are the most popular side dish on the Thanksgiving table, and we don’t expect that to change. 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 Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) priority this season is to keep Idaho potatoes top of mind, 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.
The holiday campaign we are launching in November is designed to reach consumers at many different touchpoints.
National TV commercial
After the election, the IPC will begin airing its new television commercial, which we call Side Dish, and it features Idaho potatoes as anything but side dishes. The 30-, 15- and 10-second spots will air 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.
When folks begin planning their holiday meals, there’s a good chance they’ll visit AllRecipes.com, the No. 1 recipe site with over 29 million unique monthly visitors, primarily women, ages 25-54 — one of the IPC’s target audiences. To promote Idaho potatoes, we’re creating/promoting new recipe videos, launching recipe integrations, posting banners ads and providing digital recipe cards.
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 we want to make sure that Idaho potatoes are available to shoppers on two of the most popular online grocery sites: Walmart Grocery and Kroger.com. Through targeted display ads and boosted Idaho potato searches on Kroger.com and sponsored products on Walmart Grocery, we’ll be able to increase Idaho’s share of online potato purchases during the busiest shopping season of the year.
Idaho Potato’s social media presence has increased steadily every year due in large part to our partnerships. To kick off the holiday season the IPC is partnering with The FeedFeed, a popular Instagram page with 1.9 million foodie followers. During the first week of November, a FeedFeed executive chef will host a live culinary demo preparing Idaho Potato Muffin Tin Gratins. Viewers will have a chance to win fresh Idaho potatoes, cookware and a Visa gift card.
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 further support this 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.
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 Plate, Flavor 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 want to make sure that Idaho potatoes are on the menu.
These activities complement and are supported by our ongoing public relations efforts that include an extensive media outreach campaign prompting reporters to include Idaho potatoes in their holiday stories.
From all of us at the IPC, we wish you a healthy and happy holiday season.
Top photo: Loaded Bacon Cheese Fries. Courtesy Idaho Potato Commission