A potato isnâ€™t just a potato, particularly now, with new varieties and organics coming on, marketers say.
â€œEveryone is looking for category growth, and that is coming from specialty and organic offerings,â€ said Scott Leimkuhler, vice president with Los Angeles-based Progressive Produce LLC in Walla Walla, Wash.
Large size packs on russets (10s and 15s) are decreasing in popularity, as consumers are shopping more frequently and constantly looking for â€œwhat is fresh,â€ he said.
Some also want something that is new and unique, and thatâ€™s where specialty varieties play a key role, Leimkuhler said.
â€œSpecialty varieties are generally impulse buys, but many have a distinct almost cult-like following to them, so if retailers carry them regularly and the shoppers can rely on them being there, they work and help grow the category,â€ he said.
â€œSome people just have to have their purple or fingerling potatoes and wonâ€™t take any substitute.â€ Because shoppers crave the new and unique, so do retailers, said Ross Johnson, international marketing director with the Eagle-basedÂ Idaho Potato Commission.
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