Growers optimistic about holiday potato supplies

12/06/2013 10:32:00 AM
Melissa Shipman

Potato companies say the holiday supply looks good.

“The holidays are the highest indexing season for potatoes,” said Seth Pemsler, vice president of retail and international sales at the Idaho Potato Commission, Eagle.

Pemsler recommends referring to last year’s sales numbers for reference to ensure adequate supplies. Price discounts aren’t required at this time of year, but displays are still important.

“Promoting while consumers are looking for potatoes is highly suggested, but do not discount heavily. Consumers will buy even without huge price incentives,” he said.

Pemsler also suggests stocking several varieties and multiple sizes to meet the various needs of holiday shoppers.

Ryan Wahlen, sales manager, Pleasant Valley Potato Inc., Aberdeen, Idaho, says jumbo consumer packs are popular for the holidays.

“A lot of people are going with an 8- or 10-pound poly bag, or maybe even a 15-pound jumbo pack. It’s been a hot item for fall, and I think that will continue into the Christmas season,” Wahlen said.

Paul Dolan, president of Associated Potato Growers Inc., Grand Forks, N.D., which supplies red- and yellow-skin potatoes, says the holiday market is different for different varieties.

“The red deal is more constant than some of the others,” he said, which means there are often less advertised specials.

There is a possibility of holiday promotions, however, Dolan said.

“There is room for promoting right now,” he said.

Thanksgiving promotions are over, but Christmas offers haven’t begun, Dolan said the last week of November.

“There is some interest in Christmas promotions but nothing is set yet,” he said.

 

Online efforts

Jamie Bowen, marketing manager at the Idaho Potato Commission, says mashed potato recipes are especially requested at this time of year.

“During the holiday season, I get at least one question per day from the public on the tips and tricks for preparing perfect mashed potatoes,” Bowen said.

Because of this, we have added additional “Holiday related” Dr. Potato blogs to our site and are writing at least one blog per day on this topic,” she said.

Jim Ehrlich, executive director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee said the holidays should be business as usual.

“We’re doing what we always do, working the social media side of it and using whatever resources the U.S. Potato Board has,” he said.



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