Ken Gray, vice president of sales and marketing for the Bushwick Commission in Farmingdale, NY, told The Produce News that the company continues its focus on offering customers potatoes that have traveled the least amount of miles, are of high quality, offer retailers value and provide the savings that today’s consumers are seeking.
“Everyone wants a deal today, and bargain hunting is a common consumer theme,” said Mr. Gray. “But they don’t want inferior product. Retailers need commodity products that provide them with promotional opportunities, and they want superior service. Bushwick’s aim is to provide all of these things on a year-round basis.”
Mr. Gray said that locally grown produce is the perfect option for superior value because of the low transport costs. Consumers, he added, are not shopping as frequently today, and when they do, they want to purchase the potato items that fill their needs.
“Having a variety of options, such as three-pound red potatoes from Maine, white potatoes from New York and other varieties from other growing areas, helps retailers to ensure that their customers have what they want right in front of them,” he said.
Despite word of expected shortages buzzing through the potato industry, Mr. Gray said that Bushwick will have a good supply of quality product. “When one area gaps, there will be new potatoes from another area,” he said. “For Bushwick, it’s all about offering a variety of packs and bulk products, including fingerlings and organics.”
Food safety is a priority at the company. “We are proud of our food safety initiatives,” he added. “All of our packing sheds are third-party-audited, which is also an imperative to retailers and consumers alike today.”