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Katz president: Wisconsin’s size profile suits Midwestern spud consumers

ROSHOLT, WI — In the view of Bob Johnson, president of Katz Produce Sales LLC, based here, a somewhat-small size profile, which generally characterizes the 2013 Wisconsin potato crop, tends to suit Midwestern markets.

Johnson noted that large-sized potatoes have a tendency to sell in urban markets, where families lean toward buying only enough large bakers to have with a steak cookout. Midwestern families are inclined to buy larger volumes of small-sized spuds to serve families that tend to be larger, he noted.

As Katz Produce markets potatoes and onions, the primary customer audience is retailers. The company offers consumer packs as well as specialty potato offerings, including microwavable packaging and fingerlings.

There are strong percentage growth numbers for value-added products like microwavable potato packaging, but those numbers are bolstered by low initial sales. A weak national economy has inhibited growth for specialty potatoes, Johnson added.