Converging trends make marketing easy

03/19/2014 02:43:00 PM
Jim Offner

“I think the more consumer-friendly packaging you can have the better,” he said, noting that his company offers 2-, 3- and 5-pound bags.

Cooking shows and food magazines are helping to spread information about all of the sweet potatoes’ assets, which facilitates marketing the product, said Duane Hutton, manager of Yagi Bros. Produce Inc. in Livingston, Calif.

“There’s a lot of interest with all types of chefs, as well as food consumers, in restaurants and at home,” Hutton said.

Quick-service venues are providing additional exposure to the product, Hutton said.

“Sonic and Burger King are good examples there,” he said.

It’s not just happening across the U.S., said Stewart Precythe, president and CEO of Southern Produce Distributors Inc. in Faison.

“Every country in Europe is eating sweet potatoes,” said Precythe, whose company started shipping product to the United Kingdom in the mid-1980s and has seen interest spread across the continent over the years.

The California Sweet Potato Council is picking up on numerous themes in marketing the product, said Sarah Alvernaz, a board member with the council and general manager of Livingston-based California Sweet Potato Growers.  

“That’s one of our taglines for the new marketing program for the council, that California sweet potatoes are a natural fit for restaurants, breakfast, main dish, sides and snacks,” she said.


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