Spring spud strengths: International, petites, social media - The Packer

Spring spud strengths: International, petites, social media

03/08/2013 03:22:00 PM
Coral Beach

RPE Inc., Bancroft, Wis., is also offering baby potatoes on a seasonal basis under its new brand, Old Oak Farms, said Randy Shell, vice president of marketing and business development.

He said the company also plans to introduce several new stock-keeping units to the product line this spring, featuring two new signature varieties.

“Our agronomy team has been working with these two varieties for several seasons and they have received rave reviews during our independent consumer taste panels,” Shell said. In Nixa, Mo., Market Fresh Produce LLC is also cashing in on the less-is-more trend with new packaging this spring for baby, petite and fingerling potatoes, said Mike Kemp, business analyst for Market Fresh.

Potato hashtags and ‘likes’

Regardless of the size of the potatoes involved, potato board research shows Facebook is the No. 1 online destination for consumers.

Linda Weyers, assistant director for the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Monte Vista, said the state group continues to see increasing social media traffic for its links to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. She pointed to the committee’s recipe for fingerling potato salad with lemon and thyme, which has become a “go-to recipe” for consumers nationwide recently.

The Idaho Potato Commission also remains committed to using social media, said spokeswoman Sue Kennedy.

She said the commission’s two-week February recipe contest generated more than 200 online entries. A panel of judges selected 10 finalists.

Consumers voted on the finalists from Feb. 28-March 10, driving more people to the commission’s website. The winning entry is scheduled to be announced on the syndicated television show “Mr. Food.”

The commission’s social media report for 2012 recently was released and showed more than 20,300 people have “liked” the commission’s Facebook page.

It had more than 4,000 Twitter followers as of the end of 2012, and almost 1,200 followers on Pinterest, the report said.

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