Published online: Jan 25, 2013 Potato Storage, Potato Harvesting, Seed Potatoes
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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho-Potandon Produce representatives have been making the case to retailers since the start of the new year that promoting an array of fresh potato types may lead to increased sales storewide.


Potandon, North America's largest potato marketer, has based the new campaign on a recent study funded by the U.S. Potato Board. Barbara Keckler, Potandon's marketing supervisor, said retailers have been receptive, and she's eager to see how the information may lead to changes in potato displays.


Don Ladhoff, who oversees USPB's retail programs, said the study confirms a 2010 survey by USPB's research agency, Sterling Rice Group, concluding that rather than substituting, households tend to add on to typical spud purchases when they try new types. The new study utilized a database of 31 million U.S. households with customer loyalty cards managed by Spire, a partner of Nielsen Perishables Group.


The results show 83 percent of U.S. households buy fresh potatoes, but 38 percent of them buy just one type throughout the year. Another 35 percent buy two types. About 1 percent purchase four or more types in a year. Furthermore, customers using four or more types buy 59 pounds per year, compared with 14 pounds by shoppers who purchase just one type.


SOURCE: John O'Connell, Capital Press