RPE, Tasteful Selections Conjoin as Tasteful Partners

Baby potato category leader Tasteful Selections® and RPE, its exclusive sales and marketing partner since Tasteful Selections planted its first potato in 2010, today announced formation of a new entity, Tasteful Partners.

As part of the arrangement, Tasteful Partners is acquiring RPE and closed on the sale last week.

The deal creates synergies as well as alignment and integration opportunities across Tasteful Selections and RPE, said Tasteful Selections Chief Executive Officer Bob Bender.

The new Tasteful Partners entity is a wholly-owned CSS Farms subsidiary.

“This action will further align our agribusinesses,” Bender said, “while better leveraging RPE as a strategic asset to help Tasteful Selections continue growing.”

RPE was established in 1971 and is in its 50th year. RPE sells 1.2 billion pounds of potatoes per year, equivalent of 125 truckloads per day. The Tasteful Selections-RPE partnership has been in place since Tasteful Selections began growing and packing potatoes in 2010.

The creation of Tasteful Partners consolidates RPE expertise, proprietary data, category insight, intellectual property and sales strategy assets with Tasteful Selections planting, growing, harvesting and packing processes.

Consolidating Tasteful Selections and RPE in the new Tasteful Partners entity, Bender said, allows Tasteful Selections to better serve its customers as a vertically-integrated operation from seed to field to packing and the customer sale.

“Tasteful Selections already understands and appreciates the value RPE provides,” Bender said. “We want to continue on the impressive growth trajectory we’re on while building upon RPE’s well-established reputation as a produce industry-leading innovation and solutions provider.”

The familiarity and trust built during 12 years working together will be beneficial during what RPE Chief Executive Officer Russell Wysocki anticipates will be a seamless transition.

“The collaborative spirit that sustained us during more than a decade of rapid Tasteful Selections expansion provides a solid foundation for continued growth,” said Wysocki, noting five facility expansions of the Arvin, California-based facility since 2014.

In the new organizational structure, Wysocki remains the RPE chief executive officer. He and the RPE management team will report to a newly-formed Tasteful Partners Board of Directors.

“We are very thankful and fortunate to have such wonderful team members across our family of companies,” Wysocki added. “They are valuable contributors and integral to our continued success.”

RPE prior to formation of Tasteful Partners was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wysocki Family of Companies. WFC remains a family-owned, privately-held organization focused on its three core businesses: Eagle River Seed Farm, Wysocki Produce Farm and Paragon Potato Farms.

About Tasteful Selections®

Tasteful Selections was incorporated in 2009 by multi-generational potato farmers who recognized an opportunity to expand the potato category to meet the busy consumer’s preference for simpler, convenient meals. Planting and harvesting more than 300 days a year, Tasteful Selections® owns the entire planting, growing, harvesting and packaging process and today is the brand leader of the baby potato category.

About RPE

Established in 1971, RPE is a fresh potato marketing business in its 50th year of providing category growth with best-in-class products and strategies through exceptional service and value for its growers and customers.

About CSS Farms

Founded in 1986 and operating in 13 states, CSS Farms is a diverse agricultural business growing and supplying seed, chip, process and specialty potatoes while providing innovative solutions and superior quality with a focus on employee, land and community stewardship.