© Brian Yarvin / Alamy
Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017

Meet Alex Craig. In May, he launched a company called Potato Parcel. The idea seems simple enough, if absolutely bizarre: For a minimum of about $11, Potato Parcel will send a message of your choice, written on a potato, through the US mail to anyone of your choosing.

If you think the whole thing sounds stupid, maybe some cold, hard cash will change your mind. According to CNBC, the 24-year-old University of North Texas alum has sold over 3,000 potatoes so far. That comes out to about $10,000 per month. “I wanted to create a brand new way of sending a message outside of apps and technology by allowing anyone to send an anonymous message…on a potato,” Craig told MarketWatch.

Wish you had thought of that lucrative idea? Don’t let that stop you—because Craig wasn’t the first to think of a potato-mailing business, either. Back in March, we wrote about Mail a Spud. Launched way back in the early potato-mailing days of 2014, Mail a Spud is another company that, for about ten bucks, will let people send a potato through the mail—albeit with some subtle differences. Mail a Spud’s niche was that they send their potatoes unpacked: “No box. No envelope. Just a potato and some stamps,” they boasted on their website.

So despite what it seems like, Potato Parcel’s real breakthrough wasn’t sending potatoes through the mail at all. The “new” innovation was that their spuds, which come in a box(!), have a message written on them.

Unsurprisingly, Mail a Spud has figured out that major potato-mailing innovations like these could pose a real competitive problem, so now, when you go to their website, customers are immediately greeted with a banner reading, “Rejoice! You can now add a custom message to your spud!”

Surprisingly, however, the general public has yet to realize that you don’t need to pay a company to send a potato in the mail.

Meanwhile, big potato is laughing all the way to the bank.

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