Consumers, Fresh/ Table, Promotion/Marketing, Retail

Skinny potato program aims to help the Russet market

“We are extremely excited about the launch of our new Skinny potato product this coming January,” says Scott McDulin – Vice President of Marketing/Retail Sales with Schmieding Produce. After New Year, everybody wants to focus on health. According to research from PaleoLeap, the average weight gain between Thanksgiving and Christmas is 3.5 pounds, but overweight people gain an average of 5 to 10 pounds during this time frame. January is a key month for Americans to lose weight. “We think the January timeframe is perfect since people are actively looking for diet friendly items to help with nutritional meal planning. The Skinny potato is a 100-calorie potato that offers moms an opportunity to use smart portion control while keeping potatoes as part of a healthy diet,” mentioned McDulin. 

100-calorie packs
Nowadays, the supermarkets are filled with 100-calorie packs of yogurt, pretzels, popcorn, snacks, etc. “Nabisco recently launched 100-calorie packs of Oreo’s,” shared McDulin. “It shows that the 100-calorie measurement resonates with today’s consumers so we want to add the same controlled calorie serving to the potato segment.”
The serving size for this Non-GMO potato is 4.8 oz. or 135g, which equates to 100-calories. “Since it’s a natural product, not all potatoes will exactly have the same weight, but they will be around 4-5 oz. each,” mentioned McDulin. Schmieding Produce plans to sell the premium product in 3 lb. bags, offering approximately 10 potatoes in a bag.
Opportunities in declining Russet market
The development of the Skinny potato program is the result of the declining Russet market. “The potato industry is witnessing tremendous growth in the specialty segment with consumers increasingly demanding smaller, convenience-type of packs”, declared McDulin. Larger, 15 lb. bags are declining while growth of 5 lb. and 10 lb. bags is flat. “Breathing life into the Russet potato segment will provide us and the retailer with tremendous incremental growth opportunities, given the significant size of the overall Russet market. Today, Russets represent 53 percent of overall potato sales dollars. So, we are going to fish where the big fish are.”
Premium product
Potato harvest finished a few weeks ago and right now, the potatoes for the Skinny program are being sorted. Once the product hits the shelves, it will be offered at a recommended retail price of $2.99 per bag. The recommended price point of the organic alternative will be between $3.49 and $3.99. Distribution will be allocated to a select number of stores.
For more information:
Scott McDulin
Vice President – Marketing/Retail Sales
Schmieding Produce LLC
Cell: 561-319-3095

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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