Sarah Reece, global marketing manager for the Denver-based U.S. Potato Board, said in the third quarter of 2015 (July-September), the average retail price for potatoes was down slightly from last year"s prices, from 69 cents to 68 cents per pound.
"The largest changes in the price per pound came from russet potatoes, which were down 3.7% versus a year ago, and yellow potatoes, which were up 4% versus year ago," she said.
Kevin Stanger, senior vice president for sales and marketing for Wada Farms Marketing Group, Idaho Falls, Idaho, said this is the first year Wada Farms will offer an organic line of potatoes reds, yellows and russets and the initial response has been very good as most early product already sold out. The long-term plan is to grow the organic program.
"As we see a need, we try to develop products that customers want and (organics) are what customers are now looking for," he said.
The company also has offered new Eurobag packages for the past couple of months with 3-, 5- and 10-pound bags for russets, reds and yellows.
Ralph Schwartz, vice president of marketing, sales and innovation for Idaho Falls-based Potandon Produce LLC, said the company"s newest addition to its potato line is its Klondike Royale, which is available for national distribution for the first time.
The Klondike Royale is slightly oval with a light to medium golden skin, accented with naturally occurring violet "kisses" across the surface.
Schwartz also highlighted current consumer trends in potato consumption, including mini potatoes sales growing steadily during the past two years and now accounting for more than 10% of total category dollars.
"We see additional growth (with mini potatoes) in upcoming years as the category has not fully penetrated the entire U.S. market," he said.
Organic potatoes now account for 2.5% of category dollars, despite being in limited distribution.
"Organics are here to stay, especially with the millennial generation there are more organic potatoes being planted to keep up with the demand," Schwartz said.
Potandon also made some upgrades to its website, www.potandon.com.
"We"ve added a new recipe section tagging our creations ‘Potatoes, just for the Taste," plus we enhanced our product information pages, potato history and many other new sections," he said.