Page 44 - December2018
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see potato promotions in conjunction with onions.  ere are similarities ... they sit on the same table; they both have good shelf life.”
With consumers making shorter and more frequent trips to the grocery store, and the demand for time-savers in meal prepa- ration growing, merchandising all potatoes and onions in one location does help the consumer shop the category.
According to the Colorado Potato Administration, consumers shop potatoes by variety  rst, followed by use in food prepa-
ration. O ering all varieties together, along with showing di erent packs, not only gives consumers the ability to make the right deci- sion for their needs but also increases sales. Specialty and premium products can generate incremental volume sales and pro t dollars. O ering high-end and value-added alterna- tives in demographic-appropriate stores can lead to an increased interest by consumers and put stores on the leading edge of varietal/ packaging options.
 e importance of potatoes and onions
being a destination category has implications for placing potato promotions in the front of the department.  e negative would be that consumers don’t see all their options because they aren’t making their way to the back of the store. Je  Cady, director of produce and Floral for Tops Friendly Markets, Bu alo, NY, says making an attractive display is the most-important factor in placement. “Depending on the season, bulk potatoes will make their way up front,” he says. “Bag pota- toes up front just aren’t particularly sexy.”
Mickey Stringham, director of produce with Weis Markets, Milton, PA, says Weis has potatoes and onions in its circular every week. “We rotate the selection based on the season, holidays and consumer preferences,” he says. Weis uses its ‘power displays’ typically near the front to move product.
Rene Hardwick, director of public and industry relations for the National Onion Association, Greeley, CO, also recommends using seasonality to move onions. With domestic supplies of almost all colors being available on a year-round basis, she says, “take advantage of the boons in supply to highlight how and what consumers are cooking.” Hard- wick also recommends creative cross-mer- chandising to build visibility and increase sales.
Although sweet yellow onions are higher in sugar, and therefore slightly more perish- able than hard yellow onions, Trish James, vice president of Produce for Kids, a subsid- iary company of Reidsville, GA-based Shuman Produce, says “our sales in December rival our highest sales on Vidalia’s during that season.” Shuman moves to Peruvian produce until late February/March. “Since the product coming from Peru is the same seed as the Vidalia, the quality, taste and pro le are the same, so consumers know what to expect,” says James. We will go with Peruvian product through Feb/March until we switch to Texas to  ll in before Vidalia’s.
Dick Okray, president of Okray Family Farms, Plover, WI, is seeing a shift from red potatoes to yellow potatoes. “We’re seeing a movement once again in reen- gaging consumers in heirloom varieties, such as  ngerlings, and the colored varieties.” According to Okray, this is providing an upward kick in image for many retailers.
Ehrlick, with the Colorado Potato Administration, believes Colorado product is well-positioned to supply the retail market with all its potato needs. “We’re also seeing

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