MountainKing's John Pope Discusses Holiday Potato Season
HOUSTON, TX - How do I love potatoes? Let me count the ways: I love potatoes small and round, medium and brown, and larger than large and over a pound. As we head further into the holiday season, there are more consumers than just me browsing the produce aisle for the perfect spud to wax potato—I mean, poetic—about to their holiday guests. And with a whole slew of options, including Russets, Reds, Golds, Fingerlings, Whites, Butter Russets, and Butter Reds, MountainKing has plenty of potatoes for retailers to push and consumers to fill their carts with.
I chatted with John Pope, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, to find out more about MountainKing’s potato harvest and why retailers should be prepared for an onslaught of potato enthusiasts this holiday season.
“We just completed our potato harvest in early October with great conditions. It was one of our strongest years. At MountainKing, the key to a good potato crop starts with varietal selection,” John told me. “We use rigorous standards for selecting only the best types based on taste, cooking performance, yields, and overall quality. We then test these types in ‘plots’ to ensure maximum performance when grown on a commercial scale. Another way we ensure a successful crop is preventing bruising during harvest and storage. Our field-testing programs pay huge dividends by identifying issues as product is stored, which allows us to better manage equipment and process for a bruise-free product all season long.”
September and October, in John’s words, were perfect, helping quality reach excellence. Specifically, MountainKing’s growing area in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, with its long summer days and cool nights, offered yet another ideal growing season with optimal conditions. This cool weather, as well as the holidays, has created a strong sales period for MountainKings’ grocery partners as a result.
John noted that demand for smaller sizes like Yellows, Fingerlings, Creamers, and Organics is up right now, with demand trending downward for larger-sized potatoes like Russets and Whites, while Reds are flat.
“We’re expecting to exceed ten percent growth in our Butter Reds, Butter Golds, Fingerlings, and other varietals,” John said. “On the product front, we’re also rolling out new, smaller-sized Creamers with new display sleeves. On a bigger picture scale, we continue to encourage our grocery partners to shift to positively trending items.”
With countless varieties to choose from and a strong crop to look forward to, there’s no reason not to be extra excited about MountainKing potatoes this starchy season.
For more of the latest potato crop news and market updates like this, keep reading AndNowUKnow.