Specialty Potato Alliance announced July 22 that it has added organic fingerling potatoes to its extensive line of products.
“This is an incredible opportunity to expand our market reach and broaden our retail platform,” Mark Pittenger, managing team member who heads sales and marketing for Specialty Potato Alliance, said in a July 22 press release.
Mr. Pittenger said that this new product will aid in extending sales into Canada, where pommes de terre biologiques, or organic potatoes, are a heavily requested retail item.
The new organic fingerling potatoes have been cultivated in California and Colorado by members and partners of the alliance.
Scott Pursel of Lehr Bros. in Bakersfield, CA, a member-partner of the alliance, has been working to bring this new product to market with a multi-season availability. Certified by CCOF, the mix of organic fingerlings will initially be Russian Bananas, French and the alliance’s proprietary Rockey Rose variety.
“We have been working hard since 2009 to increase our yields to accommodate a vibrant year-round program,” Mr. Pursel said the press release. “We’ve accomplished this with our conventional fingerlings and we should be able to duplicate those efforts with our organic program within two years.”
The new retail packaging chosen by Specialty Potato Alliance will be the recyclable Fox Combo Ultra Shield potato bag. The added benefit of this breathable potato bag is its two-layer black-and-white poly film side that blocks nearly 100 percent of visible light and 90 percent of ultraviolet light, which dramatically decreases potato greening and extends shelf life.
Jill Overdorf, a managing team member of the alliance, said in the press release that the new bright green bag not only protects the contents from greening, it complements the existing red bag used to package its well-established traditional fingerlings. Additionally, there are other colors in design to further expand the alliance’s retail line of specialty potatoes.
The new packaging and potatoes were to be featured at the PMA Foodservice conference in Monterey, CA. Displayed in the new product showcase at the exposition, the bright green 1.5-pound bag was to debut with its distinctive green tractor logo.
The alliance will also be offering the organic mix of fingerlings to all tiers of foodservice, with packaging in 10-, 20- and 50-pound cases.