idahoan-mashed-in-america footprint

No Small Potatoes: Idahoan Foods Embarks on a National Sampling Tour


Driving consumer retention is baked into the sampling strategy.

As large-scale events resume safely this year, Idahoan Foods is making a move to plant a stake in the ground in the comeback and engage consumers in the convenience of the mashed potato. The brand’s new Mashed in America Tour is targeting sports fans, concert goers and shoppers at an array of events and retail locations throughout the year with a family-friendly, scalable 30×30 activation footprint.

The tour began Sept. 4-5 at the NASCAR Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina with stops planned at NFL events, NCAA football and basketball games, music festivals and grocery stores across the country, including a finale on Aug. 14, 2022, at Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA.

“We’re looking to increase household penetration by introducing new consumers to the quality and convenience the Idahoan brand offers, while reminding current consumers why they started purchasing our products in the first place, driving consumer retention,” says Wes Myer, director-retail marketing at Idahoan Foods.

Every activation will offer free samples of Idahoan’s top products including Buttery Homestyle, Four Cheese and Loaded Baked Mashed Potatoes. Festive potato-themed experiences will include an interactive “Mash a Potato” arcade-style game, potato cornhole and photo opportunity to take a shareable selfie as a “couch potato.” Engagements will shift according to size of footprint and planned attractions at each venue. So, while NASCAR races and festivals can accommodate large-scale activations, grocery stores may be limited to a step van and porch display.

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The scale of the program will help Idahoan Foods position itself as a leader in the convenient, packaged potato brand category. And while the potato tour is the largest (in scale) experiential program that the company has ever executed, past sampling activations have consistently yielded strong returns on investment, according to Myer. The brand will track total number of samples distributed, numbers of consumers who redeem coupons from the experience and sales in each market before, during and after tour stops.

“We know that all it takes for a consumer to become an Idahoan fan is simply tasting the quality of our products, so we execute other tactics that allow us to distribute samples, such as targeted mailers, in conjunction with digital media advertising efforts and robust p.r. programs,” Myer says. Agency: Entertainment 3Sixty.


Every activation offers free hot samples of Idahoan Foods’ top SKUs, like its Buttery Homestyle product.

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