Posts Tagged “Idaho potatoes”

Pro Football Player and Idaho Native, Taysom Hill Reppin’ Idaho Potatoes

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By Idaho Potato Commission

Eagle, Idaho — On any given Sunday (or Monday, or Thursday), Taysom Hill the most versatile professional football player in the league could be playing quarterback, fullback, tight end, receiver, kickoff returner or punt blocker…jumping in wherever his team needs him. Coincidentally, the Idaho native has a lot in common with his home state’s most popular food…you guessed it…the potato, the most versatile vegetable in the produce aisle.

Taysom filmed five short, humorous videos promoting Idaho® potatoes. The 30-second spots launched on December 20th and ran through February 7th on streaming platforms Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, Fire TV Stick, YouTube and programmatic sports sites like CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated. The vignettes were also posted on the IPC’s Facebook and Instagram pages. This was the Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) first consumer digital ad campaign, and it reached close to 2.9 million people.

“Taysom’s ability on the field (he can play an impressive 10 different positions), his wholesome Idaho upbringing and his exceptional athleticism, make him an ideal spokesperson for the Idaho® potato brand,” said Frank Muir, President and CEO, IPC. “The five digital spots we created humorously showcase the versatility of two all-American favorites — Taysom Hill and Idaho® potatoes.”

Taysom is from Pocatello, ID, played college ball at Brigham Young University. He was undrafted, but spent the 2017 season with the Green Packers and has been with the New Orleans Saints since.

Jameis Winston (2) and Taysom Hill (7) are expected to be competing for quarterback this season with the retirement of Drew Brees.

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Nation’s Potatoes Remaining to be Shipped are Down 4% from A Year Ago

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U.S. potatoes remaining in storage to be shipped is down 4 percent from a year ago as of December 1st.

The USDA reports 37 percent of U.S. spuds have been shipped for the 2019-20 season. Processors in the eight major states used 76.3 million cwt of potatoes for the season, up 3 percent from December 2018.

Compared with a year ago, the USDA reported lower volumes of potatoes were in storage in North Dakota, Minnesota and Idaho. Cold weather in Idaho and a combination of wet conditions followed by cold weather reduced output in those growing regions.

The USDA reported that Idaho potatoes remaining in storage stood at 95 million cwt. on December 1, down 6 percent from 101 million cwt. the same time a year ago. In North Dakota, storages held 14 million cwt., down 18 percent from 17 million cwt. on Dec. 1 2018. In Minnesota, holdings were estimated at 12.3 million cwt., off 4 percent from 12.8 million cwt. on hand a year ago.

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Study Shows Idaho Potatoes are America’s Favorite Veggie

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February is the Idaho Potato Commission’s favorite month because it’s American Heart Month and Potato Lovers Month, making it a great time to celebrate Idaho potatoes.

In a national survey conducted by Kelton Global, consumers were asked to pick their favorite vegetable, and Idaho potatoes topped the chart. More than a quarter of Americans (26 percent) — or nearly 68 million — say Idaho potatoes are their favored choice over broccoli (19 percent), corn (14 percent) or leafy greens (14 percent).

“Every few years we survey folks on their vegetable preferences, and I’m pleased to report that Idaho potatoes continue to rank number one,” said Frank Muir, president and chief executive officer of IPC. “What’s not to love about the superfood? They’re nutritious and can be enjoyed hundreds of different ways.”

If you’re wondering how folks prefer to eat their spuds, mashed was the hands down winner (27 percent) followed by French fries (23 percent) and baked (22 percent).

More millennials than older generations (29 percent vs. 24 percent) claim mashed potatoes are their most chosen way to eat spuds.

Close to two in five (37 percent) Northeasterners say mashed is their favorite way to consume potatoes compared to far fewer (24 percent) Americans in other regions.

However, many folks are still in the dark when it comes to the potato’s impressive nutritional profile. Less than three in 10 Americans (28 percent) are aware that spuds are chock-full of potassium, a nutrient that plays an important role in heart health. More women than men (30 percent vs. 25 percent) are in the know that potatoes contain potassium.

The survey was conducted by Kelton Global Research Co. for the Idaho Potato Commission with a sample of 1,005 Americans aged 18 and over between Jan. 7 and Jan. 11.

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Trailblazing Women of the Idaho Potato Brand

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Eagle, Idaho – For eight years, the Big Idaho® Potato Truck, a 4-ton spud on wheels, has been turning heads and stopping folks in their tracks everywhere it goes. This summer, there’s another reason why people are taking a second look at the oversized vegetable. The Tater Team, the trio that travels with the Truck promoting famous Idaho® potatoes, is all women, including the driver. According to CNBC, only 6 percent of all truck drivers are female. So if you think a giant spud is a rare sighting, so is a female truck driver.

This year marks Melissa Bradford’s first year driving the Big Idaho® Potato Truck, and she’s a natural. Born and raised in Idaho, Melissa grew up harvesting spuds with her dad. She became a commercial truck driver in 2008, and in 2016 upgraded to a Class A commercial license, allowing her to operate a vehicle with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds. Melissa says seeing people’s reaction to the Truck is the highlight of her job, and she’s amazed at how many people ask her if the potato is real. Melissa is also a spokesmodel for the Duluth Trading Company.

Accompanying her are the “Tater Twins,” Jessica Coulthard and Kaylee Wells, Idahoans and best friends who have been traveling with the Big Idaho® Potato Truck for three years.  They’ve trekked across the country countless times promoting the health benefits of Idaho® potatoes to millions of folks who are thrilled to see the largest spud on wheels. “The Tater Team represents the heart and soul of the Idaho® potato brand, and I’m exceptionally proud of Melissa, Kaylee, and Jessica for demonstrating its values on a daily basis,” says Frank Muir, President & CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC).

This summer, the trio will travel approximately 25,000 miles and visit about 60 cities. Some highlights of the 2019 tour include participation in the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Hot Springs, Arkansas; a zip around the Indianapolis Speedway track; a stop at the World’s Largest Ketchup Bottle in Collinsville, Illinois; and its annual and highly anticipated appearance at the Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. In many of the markets it visits, the Truck supports local charities through its “A Big Helping” program by helping them raise funds and awareness based on their specific needs. The Truck’s complete tour schedule is available at

The Idaho® potato brand has a long legacy of trailblazing women, and the Tater Trio aren’t the first women to represent Idaho® potatoes. In 2013, the IPC shattered the glass ceiling with the appointment of the first female Commissioner, Peggy Arnzen, a shipper from Benchmark Potato in Rexburg. The first female grower, Mary Hasenoehrl of Gross Farms in Lewiston, was appointed to the IPC in 2017. As industry leaders for many years, both Peggy and Mary have long and impressive backgrounds in farming and agriculture. Their perspective and experience have contributed to building impactful marketing programs designed to reach the IPC’s primary target audience, women ages 25-54.

About the Idaho Potato Commission

Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho®” seal, a federally registered trademark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, give Idaho® potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance. These ideal growing conditions are what differentiate Idaho® potatoes from potatoes grown in other states. For more information, visit

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2018 Big Idaho Potato Truck Tour Has Officially Ended

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Eagle, Idaho –When the Big Idaho® Potato dropped at midnight in front of the Capitol Building on New Year’s Eve, the Big Idaho® Potato Truck, which was front and center for the “spudtacular” show, officially ended its 2018 tour.  And what a year it was! The Truck…

  • Traveled 40,000+ miles
  • Participated in 68 scheduled events
    • Four events had over 300K attendees
      • St. Patricks’ Day Parade, Pittsburgh, PA
      • Art Car Parade, Dallas, TX
      • National Memorial Day Parade, Washington, D.C.
      • Rose Festival, Portland, OR
    • 15 events had over 100K attendees, including
      • Indianapolis Indy Car Race, Indianapolis, IN
      • NASCAR, Bristol, TN
      • St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Hilton Head, SC
      • Pegasus Parade, Louisville, KY
      • SeaFair Festival, Seattle, WA
  • Donated $12,000 to 21 charities across the country through its “A Big Helping” program
  • Was invited to appear at American Idol’s Semi-Finals in Coeur D’Alene, ID
  • Generated more than 300 million media impressions

However the biggest news of the year was the unveiling of Big Idaho®Potato 2.0. Weighing in at 4 tons, the fiberglass potato is just as impressive as the original, but with a few subtle differences. The potato is still 28 feet long and 11.5 feet high, but it’s a little trimmer in the middle (10 feet wide), and two tons lighter so it can travel to more places. The original potato, which was only supposed to last one year, became too road worn to travel and now resides in its home state of Idaho.
“The Big Idaho® Potato Truck continues to drive many of our marketing campaigns. It’s the focus of our national television commercials, it helps promote the potato’s impressive nutritional profile and generates hundreds of millions of impressions for the Idaho® potato brand,” explained Frank Muir, President & CEO, Idaho Potato Commission. “Now that we’ve got a new fiberglass potato, there’s no end in sight for the biggest potato on wheels.”

After seven years the Truck’s track record is pretty impressive…

  • The average tour length is 6 months
  • The Truck has traveled approximately 211,722 miles
  • It’s attended events in 651 cities/towns
    • 46 events had more than 300,000 people in attendance
    • 76 events had more 100,000 people in attendance
  • The Truck has traveled through more than 10,000 cities and towns, nationwide and all lower 48 states
  • “A Big Helping” has donated $67,000 to 124 charities located across the country
  • Millions have taken pictures of the Big Idaho® Potato Truck on their mobile devices
  • Every day we receive appearance requests from fans, festivals, and events, all over the country
  • Media coverage to date is in the billions!

The 2019 Big Idaho® Potato Truck Tour schedule will be available in early February 2019

About the Idaho Potato Commission

Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho®” seal, a federally registered trademark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, give Idaho® potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance. These ideal growing conditions are what differentiate Idaho® potatoes from potatoes grown in other states. For more information, visit

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The Average American Eats 111 Pounds Of Potatoes Each Year

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By The Idaho Potato Commission

Eagle, Idaho – It’s no surprise that during the six week period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day more Idaho® potatoes are sold than during any other time of year.  From creamy mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving to crispy latkes for Hanukkah to steaming big bakers for New Year’s Day, the versatile vegetable shines during the holiday season! While the preparation options for potatoes are endless, Idaho grows enough potatoes to feed millions of folks in the United States and around the world all year long.
Chew on This…

  • Approximately 311,000 acres of Idaho® potatoes (that’s about 13 billions pounds) are harvested each year.
    • That’s enough to fill 500 football stadiums 10 feet high!
  • Ninety percent of those 311,000 acres will grow russet potatoes like Burbanks, Norkotahs, Rangers and Westerns.
    • The remaining 10% will grow niche varieties like golds, reds, fingerlings and more.
  • 412 pounds of Idaho potatoes are sold every second!
  • Wondering how the potatoes are used?
    • 43% are used in processed products (frozen and dehydrated)
    • 43% are sold fresh
    • 14% are grown for certified seed
  • Idaho® potatoes are transported across the country via trucks (70%) and rail (30%).
  • What makes Idaho® potatoes different from potatoes grown in other states? It’s a combination of Idaho’s rich volcanic soil, warm days, cool nights and an abundance of clean, fresh water from the majestic mountains.
  • Who loves Idaho® potatoes the most? News Yorkers! Followed by folks from Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Visit for more fun facts, recipes and cooking tips.

About the Idaho Potato Commission

Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho®” seal, a federally registered trademark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, give Idaho® potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance. These ideal growing conditions are what differentiate Idaho® potatoes from potatoes grown in other states. For more information, visit

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Shipping Updates: Florida Tomatoes are Rebounding; Rates Up for Western U.S. Potatoes

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DSCN0190Florida tomato volume is rebounding as the recovery from Hurricane Irma continues.  Meanwhile, double digit freights on potatoes from some states in the Western U.S. are occurring.

Florida tomato shipments remain much lighter than normal thanks to Hurricane Irma last fall, that is fixing to change.  Volume is gradually coming back as the replantings mature, but it will be around Christmas or perhaps early January before volumes return to normal.  Irma dumped a ton of water of some fields, so use caution loading.  There’s a chance of bacterial and general quality problems with some product, until a little later in the season.

North American Potato Shipping Update

North American fall potato shipments in the most recent USDA update is pegged 505 million cwt. (per hundredweight), down 1 percent from last year.  Canadian growers harvested 106 million cwt., up slightly from 2016, and U.S. growers are expected to produce 399 million cwt., down 2 percent from 2016.  U.S. growers planted 906,500 acres, down from 923,800 in 2016, and harvested 900,600 acres, off from 909,600 in 2016.

Canadian growers planted 345,800 acres and harvested 342,200, both amounts similar to the previous crop.  The USDA reported yields per acre at 443 cwt. for growers in the U.S. and at 309 cwt. for growers in Canada.

Potato shipments for Christmas are getting underway and truck rates from both Idaho and Colorado have increased 10 to 20 percent to many markets.  Wisconsin, which has the lowest volume of the three states, is not experiencing volatility in rates.  Idaho is shipping moving nearly 1700 truckload equivalents of spuds a week, although a significant amount of this is going by rail.  Colorado is shipping around 750 truckloads per week, while Wisconsin is loading about 400 truckloads.  The Columbia Basin and Umatilla Basin on the Washington/Oregon border has similar volume  (about 350 loads) to Colorado  and rates have generally went up 10 to 15 percent recently.

Twin Falls area Idaho potatoes – grossing about $6300 to New York City.

San Luis Valley Colorado potatoes – grossing about $2000 to Dallas.

Stevens Point, Wisconsin area potatoes – grossing about  $3300 to Atlanta.

Washington’s Columbian Basin potatoes – grossing bout $5100 to Chicago.


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Idaho Potato Commission’s New TV Commercial is Scoring Big Points

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DSCN0185By the Idaho Potato Commission

EAGLE, ID —  The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) launched its new television commercial during the Boise State University (BSU) vs University of Virginia (UVA) football game that aired live from Albertson’s Stadium in Boise, Idaho in late September.  As a long-standing Bronco sponsor, this marquee game presented an ideal opportunity to unveil the seventh installment of the IPC’s  commercial featuring the Big Idaho Potato Truck, Farmer Mark and his ever-faithful hound.

“Every year the popularity of the Big Idaho Potato Truck grows exponentially due in large part to the national television commercial that airs when the Truck isn’t on the road.  As a result, consumers are exposed to the Truck for an entire year, as opposed to 6-months, the actual length of the tour, explained Frank Muir, President and CEO, IPC.   “Launching the commercial during the IPC’s nationally-televised marquee game at Albertson’s Stadium has become a tradition.  Not only are we further supporting Idaho football but the strength of the brand is reinforced through the prominently placed Idaho’s potato signage throughout the stadium, and the reporters are always excited to talk about spuds.”

During the game ESPN reporters made it clear to their viewers they were in Tater Nation.  From footage of the Big Idaho Potato Truck and non-stop shots of Spuddy Buddy, to a close-up of sideline reporter, Molly McGrath’s loaded baked potato, Idaho’s potatoes were treated like MVPs from the kick-off to the very last play of the game.
The commercial airs through early April on popular networks like CNN, The Food Network, Headline News, Fox News and The History Channel, achieving more than 550 million audience impressions. To view it now, visit the IPC’s YouTube channel.

For more information about Idaho’s famous spud visit:

About the Idaho Potato Commission

Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the famous Grown in Idaho seal, a federally registered trademark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho potatoes. Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil give Idaho potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance, that differentiates Idaho potatoes from potatoes grown in other states.

Boise State Football

The Boise State Bronco lost the game to Virginia University, 42 to 23.  However, the Broncos have an 8-2 won, lost record.

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A Fall Shipping Update from Several Key U.S. Produce Areas

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DSCN4898In typical fall fashion here are some of the better loading opportunities from four important produce U.S. shipping states.


While apple shipments may not set a record this season, plenty will be available for hauling as another big crop is forecast.  Last season harvest was so huge, believe it or not, some shippers are still loading “old” apples from last season.  That’s okay, if your receiver is aware of it.  Just make sure they know what is being loaded.  Nearly 1800 truckload equivalents of apples are being loaded weekly primarily from the Yakima and Wenatchee valleys.  Around 400 truckload equivalents of Washington pears are being shipped as well, with the best volume yet to come.

Idaho and Oregon

Another big crop of Idaho potatoes will be shipped between now and late next summer.  Nearly 1600 truckload equivalents of primarily russet potatoes are being loaded weekly from the four primarily Idaho shipping areas lead by the Idaho Falls area.

Western Idaho and Malhuer County Oregon are shipping over 600 truckloads on storage onions per week.   Last winter a number of onion storage sheds and other buildings were heavily damaged in Nyssa and Ontario, Oregon due to two separate winter storms, but adequate facilities appear to be in place for the new shipping season.

South Texas Produce Shipments

Literally dozens of tropical fruits and vegetables are crossing the border from Mexico at Pharr, Texas, but a majority of the are in light volume at this point.  Vine ripe tomatoes are perhaps providing the heaviest volume with about 500 truckloads per week.  Limes may be among the heavier volume tropical fruits with nearly 350 truckloads weekly.

Many Mexican items are just getting underway and in the coming weeks will provide better hauling opportunities ranging from strawberries to raspberries, honeydew, papayas and pineapples among others.

The Lower Rio Grande Valley grapefruit harvest is barely underway with good volume arriving in November.


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Study Points Out Popularity of Idaho Bagged Potatoes

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IdahoSpudConsumers are less likely to not buy Idaho-branded bagged russet potatoes due to price changes than potatoes from other states, according to a new study.

The Idaho Potato Commission commissioned the study conducted by economist Timothy Richards of Arizona State University, which used retail scan data for the two-year period.

The numbers indicate that Idaho potatoes have a higher consumer preference and can command a more premium retail price or markup.

“The research showed that for russets, Idaho russets are less price elastic than non-Idaho russets,” said Seth Pemsler, vice president of retail and international programs for the commission. “When price goes up on Idaho (russets), the resulting lost volume is significantly less than non-Idaho russets.”

Photo courtesy of Idaho Potato Commission

Pemsler said the findings suggest that if retailers don’t discount Idaho russets to the same degree as non-Idaho russets, there wouldn’t be a significant effect on volume sold.

The study showed that overall price elasticity of bagged Idaho russets was 1.26 compared with 1.91 for bagged russets from other areas.

The study breaks down data from the entire U.S. and eight separate regions over the two-year period, according to an executive summary of the research.

In addition, Idaho potatoes are the least vulnerable to competitive pricing.

Based on scan data of 5- and 10-pound bags, Idaho russet potatoes have the highest profit margin potential compared with potatoes from other origins.

“The fact is that even if you pay 10 cents a bag more for Idaho russets, you can charge 20 cents per bag more at retail,” Pemsler said

Bulk potatoes were not evaluated because of inconsistencies found in the data due to the nature of price-look-up stickers and misidentification of variety and brand/origin at checkout registers.

Bagged potatoes represented 70 percent of all potato volume tracked during the two-year study.

Pemsler estimated about 60 percent of retailers in the U.S. carry both Idaho and non-Idaho bagged russets.  The data has not yet been published but more details are available from the Idaho Potato Commission at


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