WP Griffin Inc., has partnered with Sobeys Inc. for bright packaging that is color coded to specific uses for bagged potatoes.
WP Griffin Inc., has partnered with Sobeys Inc. for bright packaging that is color coded to specific uses for bagged potatoes.

Prince Edward Island potato suppliers know eye-catching packaging is important to a successful retail presence.

“We try and use packaging that catches the consumers eye,” said Josh Gill, salesman for Mid Isle Farms, Albany, Prince Edward Island.

Mid Isle Farms uses bright red packs for its innovator variety.

“It catches their eye on the shelf, and they see it and recognize it,” Gill said.

WP Griffin Inc., Elmsdale, Prince Edward Island, is taking the idea of eye-catching packaging further through a partnership with Sobeys Inc.

The brightly colored packages have an educational undertone, with bag colors selected for the cooking method best suited for the type of potato inside each bag.

“This is to help consumer recognition and help them get the same thing every single time,” said Garth Smallman, director of sales for WP Griffin.

The idea began in New Zealand, according to Smallman, and Sobeys across the county are implementing the new packaging strategy, some with bulk, and others with bags.

“The marketing by usage idea for potatoes uses international colors for the packaging,” Smallman said.

Kendra Mills, marketing director for the Prince Edward Island Potato Board, said the color-coded bags are popular elsewhere.

“It’s a trend that’s common in other parts of the world, especially in Europe. They are doing a lot of marketing by varieties or usage,” Mills said.

Red bags contain baking potatoes, with mashing potatoes in blue, boiling varieties in green and roasting potatoes in yellow bags.

Smallman compared the aim of this project to other food groups that use this technique.

“The color of the bag will make it easier to identify the one that they like best, much like the colored packaging for milk,” he said.

The project began this fall, and Smallman said the response seems to be really good.

“We’ve heard a lot of positive comments. Consumers like the idea they can go and get the best possible variety for their needs every time,” he said.

All four cooking options are set to be available year-round, although the specific variety in each bag could vary.

“The idea is to help a consumer repeat a certain experience, no matter what the variety is inside the bag,” Smallman said.

WP Griffin is supplying all four types of potatoes to Sobeys stores for bulk displays as well as in 5-pound poly bags.

“Our company is supplying the Maritimes with these potatoes while there are other suppliers looking after the Ontario market and the western provinces, so eventually they will be in Sobeys stores right across the country,” Smallman said.