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   Which Potato for Which Dish? Type Matters
by Terri Parsons, TMA+Peritus
Posted: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 8:47AM EST

Antigo, WI — November 3, 2009 — The Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) is growing more than potatoes for produce departments – they’re hoping to help produce departments grow sales with point-of-sale materials that educate customers on potato types and provide new recipes for shoppers.

“Our market research indicates that customers want to know which potato is best for each of the various methods of cooking,” explains Tim Feit, Director of Promotions and Consumer Education for the WPVGA. “According to our research, consumers don’t always know which potato they should use for a French fry, a baked potato or a potato salad and they are frustrated if they can’t find produce personnel to answer their questions. So we’ve designed a chart that answers those questions for consumers — alleviating consumer frustration and demands on produce personnel.”

The “Pick the Perfect Potato” chart includes photographs of seven potato types and clearly indicates which of the 11 methods of cooking is best for each. For example, russets, the most common potato type, are best baked or mashed. But for potato salads, round reds are the potato of choice.

In addition to helping customers understand traditional methods of cooking potatoes, the WPVGA’s Seasonal Promotions Recipe Contest rewards contestants for submitting recipes that use potatoes in non-traditional ways. Notes Feit, “Our research indicates that consumers are trying to economize — but they don’t want to sacrifice quality and they don’t want to eat the same thing over and over again. So we’ve provided consumers with ‘tried and true’ recipes from Wisconsin potato fans that will make an economical staple — potatoes — an interesting centerpiece of the meal.” Marilyn Blankschien recently won top prize in the Holiday Celebrations recipe contest for her “Chocolate Potato Cherry Cream Torte” recipe.

“Desserts are my favorite thing to make,” says Mrs. Blankschien. “Using potatoes in this recipe makes it a moister cake. And it’s a healthier dessert because there’s no shortening or oil.” Produce buyers and managers can download point-of-sale posters and get free tear-pads of the winning recipe at

“We’re listening to consumers and grocers — people want a better understanding of the potato. By showing consumers how to select the right potato and providing them with new recipes made with Wisconsin potatoes, shoppers are making informed choices that will make them, and their families, happy.” Feit concludes, “I think one of the contest judges put it best - everything tastes better when you use Wisconsin potatoes.”

WPVGA also provides Healthy Grown® potatoes — a sustainable product grown exclusively in Wisconsin. Growers are certified by an independent third party, and are held to stringent sustainable farming practices that use integrated pest management techniques to protect the farmlands and surrounding lands. Healthy Grown® potatoes are available in russets, reds, yellow flesh and round white varieties.

Source: WPVGA

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