Sobeys, Griffins promotion supports Potato Museum

Eric McCarthy
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Canadian Potato Museum director Bill MacKendrick, left, and Peter Griffin, WP Griffin Inc., display the Heritage Netted Gems 10-pound bags of potatoes Griffins are filling for Sobeys for a February promotion throughout Atlantic Canada. Twenty-five cents from every bag sold will go to the museum. Customers also have a chance to win prizes, including a trip to P.E.I.

Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer

O’LEARY -- The Canadian Potato Museum in O’Leary has a major promotion in the bag for February.

Throughout February, which is Potato Month, for every bag of Heritage brand Netted Gems potatoes sold in Sobeys and Foodland stores in Atlantic Canada, 25 cents will be donated to the potato museum.

It is a joint promotion of the W.P. Griffin Inc. packing warehouse in Elmsdale and Atlantic Canada Sobeys.

Museum director Bill MacKendrick said the $20,000 that the museum would receive from the projected sales of 80,000 bags is just the start.

“I think it’s really important the exposure we’re getting,” MacKendrick said.

He said Sobeys will be featuring the Canadian Potato Museum in some of its flyers. The bag itself carries information about the museum, and the chance for customers to win prizes will draw people to the museum’s website. Dozens of prizes are available to be won and the grand prize is a Prince Edward Island vacation.

“Every now and then you’re lucky and things work out for you,” said MacKendrick who had approached John Griffin of W.P. Griffin Inc. last August about doing a promotion for the museum.

Griffin re-worked his proposal and pitched it to Sobeys.

“They jumped on board right quick,” said Griffin. “They liked the idea.” Griffins and Sobeys are teaming up to provide a 25-cent donation for every bag sold.

I think a bit of publicity is going to help them a lot. There are a lot of people on P.E.I. who don’t know about it, let alone people on the mainland John Griffin, WP Griffin Inc.

Sobeys wanted a bag that really stands out and Griffin is confident it does.

The museum got the bag designed at a reduced cost by Fresh Media and the P.E.I. Bag Company did the printing plates at no cost to the museum.

MacKendrick said the museum’s input cost in this promotion is minimal, leaving it set to receive a large donation for operating costs and great promotion.

“For the potato museum, it’s great,” added Griffin. “Maybe there will be 60 winners. A few thousand people will apply online. Eighty thousand people will buy one of these bags, or a couple hundred thousand people will see those bags and it will help promote the museum and hopefully they will increase their attendance next year.”

Griffin called the potato museum, which was extensively renovated and rebranded last year, a “first-class facility.”

“I think a bit of publicity is going to help them a lot. There are a lot of people on P.E.I. who don’t know about it, let alone people on the mainland.”

“This is how little ideas can become big,” offered MacKendrick who admits people are drawn to the quirkiness of the museum and its trademark giant potato.

“All we want is to get people to the museum and educate them about the potato,” he said.


Organizations: Sobeys, Canadian Potato Museum, W.P. Griffin Foodland P.E.I. Bag Company

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, Elmsdale, Prince Edward Island

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