Potandon Produce LLC, headquartered in Idaho Falls, ID, has carefully crafted a business model that can be summarized this way: Excellence beyond expectation.
Senior Vice President of Sales Dick Thomas said that attention to the smallest detail gives the company its competitive edge.
“We're dedicated to quality in every respect,” he told The Produce News, adding that the approach includes outstanding customer service, a diverse supply base, innovative approaches to marketing and partnering with customers to drive value to customers.
In addition to potatoes, Potandon Produce also grows and markets a vast array of white, yellow, red and sweet onions. Commodities are moved under Potandon's corporate labels, and Potandon continues to partner with Green Giant Fresh in moving potatoes and onions under that brand's banner.
Potandon's line of value-added products enables consumers to incorporate healthful potatoes into their meal planning with a minimum of fuss. Thomas said the line includes “Klondike Express,” “Green Giant Fresh Mini” and its “Steamer” potatoes.
“This year, we've introduced two new items to the Klondike line,” he went on to say. The new additions are Klondike Royale and Klondike Smiley.
Innovation literally starts from the ground up. Potandon has a vertically integrated seed development and production company that continually looks for seed strains around the world to narrow down potential candidates for production in Potandon's domestic growing regions. Though many strains are evaluated over a period of years, the company hones its short list to ensure only the best strains are cultivated to produce the highest quality product possible.
A leader in the field of quality control and food safety, all of the company's packing facilities are food safety approved by any one of multiple auditing companies and schemes including the American Institute of Baking, Primus and GFSI among others. Annual inspections ensure that these facilities comply with the most stringent food safety regulations.
Sunkist has released a new Citrus Hacks video that focuses on its S’alternative program, which is aimed at educating consumers on how they can reduce sodium intake by seasoning their food with fresh lemon.
"We’ve received a great response to our Sunkist Citrus Hack video series, and so pleased to be releasing this new S’alternative video," said Joan Wickham Manager, Advertising and Public Relations. "These videos were developed to provide clever, engaging, actionable citrus tips for consumers and we’re pleased to be doing that for a health concern as pressing and relevant as sodium reduction. The short video educates consumers about a simple, tested formula to reduce sodium in their cooking by flavoring their food with the zest and juice of fresh lemons."
This video, along with the rest of the series, will be promoted to consumers through Sunkist's social media channels and traditional media outreach. "We’ll also be sharing the videos with our retail and foodservice customers so that they can also leverage this useful content to help drive sales," she said.
Sunkist has developed a video series called Sunkist Citrus Hacks to inspire consumers to get creative this citrus season.
"The videos are a spin-off of 'life hacks' — the popular clever life solutions that have garnered so much online traction," said Joan Wickham, Sunkist advertising and public relations manager. "Sunkist Citrus Hacks teach tips and tricks that can help make enjoying citrus easy and, of course, fun.
"We will be promoting the content to consumers through our social media channels and traditional media outreach as well as sharing the videos with our retail and foodservice customers so that they can also leverage this great content to help drive sales," she said.
A new mesh sleeve consumer pack designed to minimize onion skin flaking is now available from Owyhee Produce of Nyssa, OR.
In describing the Sleeve Pack, which holds onions in a single column, Owyhee General Manager Shay Myers said the benefits are immediately apparent.
“When it comes to keeping your produce display clean and organized, onions can be one of the hardest to maintain,” Myers said. “Each and every movement causes parts of the flaky onion skin to fall off onto your display, and it's a problem not solely found in the individual onion display but also underneath the typical three-pound mesh bags.
“At Owyhee Produce, we weren’t content with staying with the familiar and looked for a better product to provide for our retailers and, furthermore, their consumers," he said. "We're very excited to announce a new innovative onion packaging option called the Sleeve Pack, which still uses a mesh bag but one that hugs the onions in a side-by-side display that minimizes movement and maximizes cleanliness and organization.”
Myers said retailers will find the Sleeve Pack, which holds two pounds of onions all the same size, makes displaying onions easier with its stackability and its assurance of consistency.
Consumers will also find the Sleeve Pack more convenient, he said.
“The Sleeve Pack offers your consumers great benefits at home... with easy storage and cleanliness,” Myers said. In addition, the slim bag can be knotted for later use, a convenience that the open mesh bags can’t offer.
“The Sleeve Pack is innovative, it looks great, and I anticipate it driving sales,” Myers said. “But the bottom line for me is to get the absolute best product out to my customers. I want to give them an added value to the products they sell to their customers so that they can stand out.”
With a fully operational packaging system in place, Owyhee Produce is looking forward to sending The Sleeve Pack out with the start of 2015.
Stemilt is giving consumers a look at its world renowned pear locales in a new video that highlights the company’s heritage and its position growing and packing pears in Washington state’s Wenatchee and Entiat river valleys.
The video features high-definition aerial footage that was shot by a drone helicopter during harvest. Throughout the short video, second-generation pear growers Mike Taylor and Rudy Prey tell the story of where Stemilt’s Rushing Rivers pears come from and what makes the two river valleys the best in the world for growing pears.
The Rushing Rivers pear video debuted at PMA Fresh Summit, and now Stemilt has taken it to its website, blog and social media channels in order to share with consumers what makes Rushing Rivers pears so unique.
“We know from research and our own engagement with consumers that people want to know where their food comes from and who grew it, so we focused this video on telling that story," Roger Pepperl, Stemilt marketing director, said in a press release. "The locales Rushing Rivers pears come from are to pears what the Napa Valley is to wine. We want consumers to experience these locales and visually sharing our farms and passion for quality with them in this video allows them to do just that."
Stemilt and its long-time pear partners, Peshastin Hi-Up Growers, have been growing pears in the Wenatchee River Valley and Entiat River Valley for decades. These two river valleys run parallel of each other and are separated only by the peaks of the Cascade Mountain range. The alpine peaks keep orchards cool during the warm summer months and serve to protect delicate pears. The two rivers are recharged by fresh mountain snowpack each spring to provide a pure and plentiful water source for producing dessert-flavored pears.
“The video focuses on the unique features of the Wenatchee and Entiat river valleys and how those features combine to create a perfect growing environment where pears thrive. It’s the story that our family growers in the area have known and told for so long, and the story that consumers hear first-hand in the Rushing Rivers pear video,” Pepperl said in the release.
Back in August, Stemilt introduced "Rushing Rivers" as its label for pears and began packing pears in a new carton. The white box features the Rushing Rivers logo and tagline “the best pear locales in the world,” and just like the video, helps tell the story of where the pears inside came from and how they were grown.
“The 'Rushing Rivers' label and new carton is already proving to be a great merchandising vehicle for pears," Pepperl said. "Displays and signage around Rushing Rivers allow retailers to bring the beauty of where Stemilt pears come from and the passion that goes into growing each one, into their stores. Pears should be prominently displayed during the late fall and winter seasons and promoting Rushing Rivers pears is a perfect way to build category excitement and repeat purchases among shoppers."