Business Updates: Potatoes and Onions Marketing - The Packer

Business Updates: Potatoes and Onions Marketing

11/04/2011 10:45:00 AM
Ashley Bentley

The company also doubled its Denver office facility and installed video conferencing capabilities.

Mac Johnson, chief executive officer, said the company has seen more interest in its services from retailers looking for help with consumer insights, promotional ideas, merchandising input and more.

DeBruyn Produce expands in Florida

After only a year in operation, Zeeland, Mich.-based DeBruyn Produce’s Florida packing house is expanding.

The facility in Pompano, Fla., started packing potatoes under DeBruyn’s Gim-me-mor label. Margret DeBruyn, chief executive officer, said the company stopped marketing potatoes years ago, but is trying again.

“We built the facility as a place to bring in Peruvian onions,” DeBruyn said. “Then we tripled in size in the first year just with onions.”

DeBruyn said the company is packing primarily red and white potatoes from multiple growing regions. It also added a drier system and expanded repacking capabilities in Pompano and LaVilla, Texas.

Idaho commission sets up in Idaho Falls

The Eagle-based Idaho Potato Commission has a new office on the eastern side of the state.

Todd Cornelison, industry relations director, and Amanda Albers, international marketing manager, now operate out of an office in Idaho Falls, sharing the space with the Idaho Grower-Shippers Association.

Keystone Fruit plans to certify pungency

Greencastle, Pa.-based Keystone Fruit Marketing is participating in the National Onion Labs’ Pungency Plus program this year. The flavor certification program gives a more accurate measure of what consumers actually taste, said Marty Kamer, Keystone vice president.

“In the last 10 years many new varieties have been introduced which develop flavors that the pungency test does not adequately measure,” Kamer said. “In some cases one can obtain low pyruvic acid numbers but have onions with strong and often unpleasant flavors.”

The Pungency Plus program addresses those limitations by measuring heat, flavor strength, aftertaste and sweetness, Kamer said.

The company’s South American operations, Keyperu, have received Rainforest Alliance certification.

“We’ve worked very hard over the years to be environmentally friendly and socially responsible wherever we grow,” Kamer said. “We take great pride in our operations in Peru and the Rainforest Alliance certification.”

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