The latest addition to the Green Giant Fresh line of value-added sweet potatoes is a microwaveable bag of petite potatoes.

By the end of October, retail shelves should be stocked with 24-ounce Green Giant Fresh Petite Steamable Sweet Potatoes bags, grown and packed by Wayne E. Bailey Produce Co., Chadbourn, N.C., said George Wooten, Wayne E. Bailey's president.

The company introduced the pack at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit 2009 Oct. 2-5 in Anaheim, Calif.

Wayne E. Bailey also sells fresh-cut sweet potatoes under the Green Giant Fresh label.

The new petite pack contains about six potatoes, each 3-6 ounces in size, Wooten said. The potatoes cook in the microwave in about 10 minutes, he said.

That speediness represents a convenience value to consumers, Wooten said. Individual microwaveable sweet potatoes can take up to 10 minutes each to cook. With the new petite pack, sweet potatoes for the entire family can be ready in that time, he said.

Other shippers pack microwaveable bags with white petite potatoes, Wooten said, but the Green Giant Fresh pack is the first to use petite sweet potatoes.

Another advantage of the new petite pack is cost, Wooten said.

 â€œYou put four or five (regular size) sweet potatoes in a bag, it's a pretty big bag — a pretty big ring, too,” he said.

The petite bag, by contrast, will be priced with budget-minded consumers in mind — he guessed it might retail for $2.29 or $2.49 — while still allowing for “a good markup for the retailer,” Wooten said.

For Wayne E. Bailey, the new pack also provides a better home for its petites, Wooten said.

“In bulk, they kind of dehydrate, which the retailers don’t like,” he said. “In the steamable bag, the respiration slows down.”

The new bags have a 21-day shelf life, Wooten said.

Green Giant introduces petite sweet potato bags

Courtesy Wayne E. Bailey Produce Co.

Image Caption George Wooten, president of Wayne E. Bailey Produce Co., prepares some Green Giant Fresh Petite Steamable Sweet Potatoes. Wayne E. Bailey Produce supplies the potatoes for the product, which will begin appearing on store shelves by the end of October.