Page 45 - December2018
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a trend to smaller packaging,” says Ehrlick about the increase in 3-lb. over 5-lb.
 e Idaho Potato Commission’s Pemsler looks to the potato category to continue to evolve in products and promotions. “ ere are many new items being introduced into the potato category —  ngerlings, specialty packs, microwaveable packs with sauces, without sauces, creamers, and small potato value-added.”
Inspiring consumers with a Home Sweet Holiday theme is part of Bland Farms’ fall and winter promotion strategy. A high graphic bin promotes its sweet onions. Kevin Dunleavy, part of the marketing arm of Bland Farms, Glenville, GA, says, “We inspire customers to try something new with our tear-o  recipe pads. Pairing sweet potatoes and sweet onions is a great way to get consumers’ attention.” According to Dunleavy, each tear-o  has a text-response code that the customer can use to view a video of the recipe. Bland promotes its Peruvian Mayan Sweet through the holi- days and into the Bowl season. It also has the Vidalia-branded line of value-added products.
Ted Kreis, marketing and communications director with Northern Plains Potato Growers, East Grand Forks, MN, believes that while retailers are doing a better job in diversifying the potato category with color, varieties and pack types, there is still room for improve- ment in space allocation. “Yellow and red potatoes are taking more market share away from Russets. Most retailers are adjusting to that and changing their space allocation strat- egies.” Per Kreis, fresh yellows have steadily increased from 5 percent 10 years ago, to more than 20 percent of the crop represented by the Northern Plains Potato Growers.
Idaho Potato Commission’s Pemsler believes retailers are over-allocating space to new products and under-allocating their core product. “Look to an 85/15 split and study speci c demographics”, he advises. “Currently, you’ll  nd roughly 45 percent of shelf space is allocated to value-added because of the seduc- tion in the higher margin.”
In working with retailers, Pemsler explains, “our biggest initiative is in working with retailers to help them access their space allo- cations and understand and make business decisions based on their individual needs, ultimately to identify the important part of their pro t mix.”
Delbert Bland, owner of Bland Farms, says, “Bland Farms provides retailers with all the support they need to maximize category

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