Nearly a third of the potatoes packed at Heimbuch Potatoes go in 3- and 5-pound packs, but the family business sees room for growth in smaller sizes.
“Everybody is planning meals on the day of now,” said Chad Heimbuch, president and sales manager of the Cogswell, N.D., company.
“Everything is trending to smaller packages. Instead of 10s, it’s more 3s and 5s. Consumers are buying more frequently. People used to shop once a week and planned for the whole week. Now it’s two to three times a week.”
Heimbuch installed a new Daumar weigher and two baggers to increase capacity for 3- and 5-pound packs this season.
The company also installed a new line for C-size potatoes.
“Before, they were mixed in with our Bs,” said Heimbuch, who added that the C-sized potatoes, or creamers, primarily will be packed in cartons or totes.
Nearly 100% of the fresh-market potatoes grown in the Red River Valley are reds, which is why Heimbuch Potatoes puts an emphasis on yellows.
Heimbuch’s father, Tom, grew red, russet and yellow in the Red River Valley for years, but the family’s potato operations had been idle for more than a decade when Chad Heimbuch and his brother, Josh, restarted the business five years ago.
“When my brother and I took over, there was so much established business between red sellers and buyers, we thought yellows would be easier to market,” Chad Heimbuch said. “Yellows give us a niche in the area.”