Hot Potatoes at HEB

HEB Grocery Stores teamed up with Idaho® potatoes and Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends® for a recent promotion that made its produce sales shoot up. In March, San Antonio-based HEB rolled out a monthlong “New Orleans Cooking Adventure” sweepstakes. The promotion encouraged shoppers to add zing to their food, particularly Idaho potatoes, with product discounts, as well as offering a chance to win a “New Orleans Cooking Adventure” including a trip to the Big Easy and a private cooking lesson from celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme.

“Product tie-ins top our list of successful ways to power up produce sales,” noted Seth Pemsler, VP retail-international at the Eagle-based Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). “Pairing two premium brands entices purchases from consumers loyal to each product, as well as new consumers looking for innovative yet affordable meal options.”

The grocery chain highlighted the sweepstakes with free-standing Magic Seasoning Blends product displays near Idaho potato bins in all of its stores. As well as providing contest entry forms, HEB attracted purchases with special savings on premium Idaho potatoes and Magic Seasoning Blends, an Idaho potato salad recipe card developed exclusively for the grocer by Prudhomme, and a cooking demo hosted by the chef at two San Antonio locations.

“Word of Chef Prudhomme’s appearance drew quite the crowd in the HEB produce department, contributing directly to purchases of Idaho potatoes and Magic Seasoning Blends,” said IPC Midwest promotion director Larry Whiteside.

HEB received thousands of sweepstakes entry forms by mail and online at Rita Acuna of Katy, Texas, was the winner.
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