LAKE WALES, Fla. —Mack Farms Inc. is introducing new packs of small potatoes and gourmet specialty potatoes.

Mack Farms rolling out gourmet potato packs

Doug Ohlemeier

Jason Turner, salesman with Mack Farms Inc., Lake Wales, Fla., displays a box of baby red creamer potatoes. The grower-shipper is marketing the potatoes under its River Golds Gourmet Potatoes label. Mack Farms is also packing bulk gourmet fingerling potatoes.

The central Florida potato grower-shipper is rolling out 1.5-pound mesh header bags of baby red, baby gold and baby white creamer potatoes.

The potatoes are sold under the River Golds Gourmet Potatoes label and private store labels, and come 12 to a carton.

Mack Farms is also packing bulk Russian banana, French red, rose finn, Peruvian purple and medley packs of gourmet fingerling potatoes in 20-pound cartons.

Jason Turner, salesman, said Mack Farms introduced the baby potatoes in 2-pound bags in 2007.

He said retailers have expressed interest in the smaller packs.

“The 1.5-pounders are a size the consumer finds useful and at a retail price point they can afford,” Turner said. “There’s also the perception that they’re getting a gourmet baby potato, a more expensive specialty item.”

Central and south Florida shippers expect to be into heavy volume in late April through early to mid-May, said Ken Wiles, general manager of Mack Farms’ River Packaging Inc.

Mack Farms plans to harvest its potatoes through the end of May, the typical season end of central Florida’s deal.

Because of abnormally cold weather, this season’s harvest began with lighter than normal volume in late February, about a month later than normal, he said.