Retailers who want to get more out of their spud space don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The Idaho Potato Commission’s 2012 Retailers Guide has everything from category management tips to new tie-in promotions and point-of-sale materials.

The commission has distributed hundreds of the guides to retailers, according to commission vice president for retail and international sales, Seth Pemsler. He said distribution began in late 2011.

The guide is in a three-ring binder, making it easy for produce managers to keep it handy for reference, Pemsler said. Described as a roadmap for retailers, the binder includes a CD with downloadable logos, clip art, photos, recipes and tips for designing successful ad layouts.

Idaho Potato Commission gives retailers a handAmong the images on the CD is a selection of seasonal clip art featuring Spuddy Buddy and other characters, with themes for most major holidays as well as sports seasons and back-to-school graphics.

Now in its fifth year, the commission’s retail guide also includes more than 30 full-color pages in eight sections. One section outlines the commission 2011-12 consumer media plan.

Idaho Potato Commission gives retailers a handOther sections provide public relations examples, details about Potato Lover’s Month and retail promotion directories. Retailers in the 13 states of the group’s Midwest territory will notice the directory pages include Larry Whiteside as their contact, even though he retired at the end of December.

“Since we started distributing the guides in the last quarter of 2011, when Larry was still making sales calls and introducing his customers to the other retail directors who are taking on his accounts, we wanted to include him in one last guide,” Pemsler explained.

Idaho Potato Commission gives retailers a handNew in the point-of-sale section this year is the commission’s quick response (QR) code. It was designed to encourage shoppers to buy more potatoes overall, as well as a wider variety of potatoes.

When consumers scan the code with a smartphone it takes them directly to the commission recipe home page on the Internet. Shoppers can then enter a variety of potato, such as fingerlings, and receive a list of recipes. The recipes help drive sales in other departments, boosting retailers’ overall sales revenue.

Idaho Potato Commission gives retailers a handPoint-of-sale materials are also available in Spanish, with examples shown in the new guide.

Charts in the category management section show retailers how important potatoes are to their bottom lines. According to the guide, potatoes were the second largest volume contributor in the produce aisle in 2010, behind bananas.

In terms of produce department revenue, potatoes were the sixth largest contributor in 2010 at 5.4% of produce dollars. The top dollar contributor was the berry category, which accounted for 7.5% of produce department revenue in 2010. The average weekly revenue per store from potatoes was $2,259, according to the guide.