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Potatoes at home in multicultural American cuisine

According to Jim Offner of The Packer publication, marketing to different ethnic and demographic groups in North America requires flexibility and a diverse portfolio of products, marketers say. Jim writes in a recent article in The Packer that packaging — or lack of it — is an example, according to Jessica Peri, retail sales manager with Yerington, Nev.-based onion grower-shipper Peri & Sons Farms.

“We have found that most markets that cater to specific demographics purchase mostly bulk and not in bags,” she said. “This is preferred by most ethnic groups.”

Tradition plays the biggest role when it comes to consumer preferences, Peri said. “We do our best to educate consumers on the uses of different onions and to encourage them to switch it up, try something new,” she said.

Potato preferences seem to vary by region, although the reason isn’t clear, said Andreas Trettin, marketing director with Houston-based grower-shipper MountainKing Potatoes. “Yellow potatoes sell very well in the East in addition to Florida, Texas and California; we also know reds sell best along the Mississippi River and throughout the Southeast,” he said. “It’s hard to pinpoint if these preferences are due to ethnic makeup, cultural traditions or perhaps both.”

Younger consumers also seem to have their own preferences, said Christine Lindner, marketing manager with Friesland, Wis.-based potato grower-shipper Alsum Farms & Produce Inc. “Millennials seek convenient, flavorful, fast and easy ways to prepare fresh potatoes,” Lindner said. 

“Potatoes are a blank canvas that consumers can add seasonings that appeal to diverse palates and create a potato-centric recipe that appeal to their families taste and preferences.”

Offering “on-trend seasonings” with potatoes is a value-added offering to market to ethnic groups that appeal to their taste and preferences. More important, regardless of demographic or regional subgroup, is having usage ideas at the ready, Lindner said.

Source: The Packer. Read the full article here

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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