Wilcox Fresh is introducing its Easy Creations line of baby russets with seasoning packets at PMA's Fresh Summit 2017 Oct. 20-21 in New Orleans. The line includes Sriracha, Lime Thyme and Garlic Parsley Parmesan flavors. Photo courtesy Wilcox Fresh

Some Idaho potato growers have introduced new products this year focused on adding value and convenience and have revamped their packaging as well.

Wilcox Fresh, Rexburg, Idaho, is debuting its Easy Creations pack at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit expo Oct. 20-21 in New Orleans. The value-added product comes in a gusseted pouch with a carry handle and features baby raw potatoes and one of three seasoning packets — garlic parsley parmesan, lime thyme or sriracha.

“The concept is intended to give consumers a starting point for a side dish they can prepare a million different ways,” said Derek Peterson, vice president of sales and marketing for Wilcox Fresh. “Customers want to be a chef, but we have to make it easy for them.”

Wilcox Fresh has recipes on its website for 20-minute dishes that are easy to make, as well as more complicated 1-hour recipes.

Peterson also said people are increasingly cooking with Instant Pots, and these new Easy Creations can cook in an Instant Pot in five minutes.


Carb Smart

Potandon Produce LLC, Idaho Falls, Idaho, is also introducing its Carb Smart Potato at Fresh Summit. The Green Giant-branded yellow-fleshed potatoes come in a 5-pound bag.

“So many consumers are concerned about weight management,” said Ralph Schwartz, vice president of marketing, sales and innovation for Potandon. “The Carb Smart Potato has 50% less carbs than rice or pasta. The company has been testing these for the past five to six years and we are pleased to introduce them now.”


Fingerling medley

Also at Fresh Summit, Southwind Farms, Heyburn, Idaho, is showcasing its redesigned 1.5-pound retail bag of fingerling potatoes, a mixed medley of yellows, reds and purples, with its corporate chef cooking dishes for booth visitors to sample.

The mixed medley’s package now has updated colors, includes a nutritional guide on the back and labels the product as non-GMO, gluten-free and has the American Heart Associaion’s Heart Healthy Heart-Check mark. It also features a new recipe for seared fingerling potatoes in a light Tuscan cream sauce.

“We’ve seen a high demand for this mixed medley in foodservice and retail,” said Scott Gorczyca, assistant general manager.


Giro bags

Wada Farms Marketing Group, Idaho Falls, Idaho, has expanded its offering of giro bags that it introduced in the middle of last season to all its new-crop potatoes this year.

“With our new giro bag, we can accommodate non-industry-standard pack sizes,” said Kevin Stanger, president. “The bag weights and printing can be changed to a customer’s wants and needs. If someone wants a 1.75-pound bag, a 2.25-pound bag, whatever size they want — we can do that. This give us the flexibility to pack the potato they are looking for in the pack size they want to offer their customers.”

The giro bags are popular for colored potatoes and some specialties, Stanger said.