Idaho Grower-Shippers Roll Out New Products

Published online: Oct 23, 2017 Articles Chris Crawford
Viewed 1012 time(s)

Source: The Packer

Some Idaho potato growers have introduced new products and revamped their packaging this year, with a focus on adding value and convenience.


Easy Creations

Wilcox Fresh in Rexburg, Idaho, debuted its Easy Creations pack at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit expo last weekend 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,” says 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 one-hour recipes. Peterson also says people are increasingly cooking with Instant Pots, and these new Easy Creations can cook in an Instant Pot in five minutes.


Carb Smart

Idaho Falls, Idaho-based Potandon Produce LLC also introduced 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,” says Ralph Schwartz, vice president of marketing, sales and innovation for Potandon. “The Carb Smart Potato has 50 percent fewer 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 of Heyburn, Idaho, showcased its redesigned 1½-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, labels the product as non-GMO and gluten-free, and has the American Heart Association’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,” says Scott Gorczyca, assistant general manager.


Giro Bags

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

“With our new giro bag, we can accommodate non-industry-standard pack sizes,” says Wada president Kevin Stanger. “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 gives 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 says.