Less than a year after signing with General Mills to provide Betty Crocker brand fresh russets, Nonpareil Corp. is forming a packing group to meet growing demand for the brand.

Plans are also in place to expand offerings under the Betty Crocker label to include all potato varieties.

The packing group, Nonpareil Fresh Solutions, has four members: Taylor Produce Inc., Rigby, Idaho; Sun River of Idaho, Aberdeen, Idaho; Easterday Farms, Pasco, Wash; and Idaho Potato Packers Corp., Blackfoot, Idaho.

“Nonpareil plans on expanding and partnering with additional packers, particularly in other regions of the nation to reduce costs both economically and environmentally,” Nonpareil national sales and marketing manager Alex Navarro said Oct. 5.

Navarro said the new packing group will be based in Blackfoot, Idaho, Nonpareil forms packing groupwhere Nonpareil is, with office staff dedicated to its operations. Nonpareil did not announce names of corporate officials or staff for Fresh Solutions.

Nonpareil announced in April this year it would begin packing and distributing Betty Crocker branded fresh potatoes through a licensing agreement signed in November 2010. That deal soon will expand to include all potato varieties, Navarro said.

“We anticipate significant growth for both Betty Crocker and Nonpareil Fresh Solutions,” he said.

No details were released regarding possible capital improvements at existing packing sheds or whether staffing would be increased with the formation of Nonpareil Fresh Solutions.

“…Our partners are, and will continue to be hand selected based on a number of qualifications from their ability to produce, handle and farm to following sustainable and environmentally responsible practices,” Navarro said.