Published online: Nov 05, 2010 Potato Storage, Potato Harvesting, Seed Potatoes
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Last fall, a motivated group of potato industry members set out to find a way to create short-term demand for potatoes that goes beyond the traditional coupon or price cut, but wasn't a consistent, long-term demand catalyst.

The Fresh Demand Working Group, an ad hoc group of industry members started in 2007, tested its plan, which group leader Mac Johnson called a shorter-term shopper marketing activity, in the fall of 2009.

It failed.

In contrast to efforts like the U.S. Potato Board, which is working to build long-term demand for potatoes, and other industry associations that build one-time promotions, the group sought to have a marketing program it could keep on hold, ready for use when market conditions required it. The thought was that a program that could spur demand for six to eight weeks could help keep the market from crashing when supply situation sent prices tumbling.