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Shifting from commodity to value-added

Organic and specialty potato categories continue to grow

This year's potato market has been challenging. "The surplus of potatoes in the Western U.S has put downward pressure on the overall potato market in North America," says Andrew George with EarthFresh. "Coupled with a weaker economy in both Canada and the U.S., the change from last year's short supply situation has been quite extreme," he added. Markets and prices have been very unsettled this year because of the major swing in market conditions.

Left: Fingerling Gourmet Potatoes. Right: Andrew George.

Organic potato demand is up
However, the team at EarthFresh stays committed to finding solutions that continue to drive value and deliver quality programs for their customers. "During Q1, we started to see an active market on coloured potatoes, premium whites, as well as organic potatoes," George commented. Within the organic segment, demand for organic baby potatoes and organic yellows is up as a result of advancements in better tasting varieties as well as health-conscious consumers continuing to spend time cooking at home. Additionally, retailers are also merchandising organics in better locations throughout their stores.

EarthFresh is just about to start their new crop organic coloured potato program in May. "It comes at a great time as old crop organics are coming to an end." The new crop organic program will be packed in both the company's Atlanta facility as well as in Burlington, Ontario. "We're looking forward to stellar quality," George said.

Increased interest for specialty potatoes
In addition to organics, EarthFresh is focused on leading the market on all specialty programs, including exclusive varieties of yellows, whites, reds, fingerlings, and baby potatoes. "To combat the extra product in the market, we continue to focus on always putting quality first, working with our customers closely on promotions and driving value through our service level." In general, demand for specialty products continues to grow year after year as customers look for great tasting value-added products and new varieties to spice up what used to be a commodity-only category.

Next week, EarthFresh will be exhibiting at CPMA's annual trade show in Vancouver. "We are excited to connect with our customers, partners and industry friends. We're also thrilled to showcase our newest innovation: Fast. Fresh. Gourmet," says Jessica Hughes. "It is a revolutionary fresh produce solution that offers customers a healthy, delicious dish in minutes." The patent-pending delivery system takes simplicity to a new level. On display will be six flavours of potatoes, four flavours of Brussels sprouts and four flavours of carrots. Visit team EarthFresh at booth #314 to discover and sample some for yourself. The team is eager to talk to their customers about commodity and value-added summer programs.

For more information:
Anneka Jenkins
EarthFresh Farms
Tel (+1) 404-593-9865
[email protected]