Nash Produce's Tami Long Talks Sweet Potato Harvest and Hurricane Impact
NORTH CAROLINA - As the 2018 harvest winds down for North Carolina sweet potatoes, Nash Produce’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, Tami Long, tells me that the industry will begin working to estimate the impact of the reduced acreage and the two hurricanes had on this season.
“Many farmers decided to plant different crops this year due to the extremely low prices on sweet potatoes for the last few years. Then, North Carolina had two major hurricanes hit the area,” she says. Though she adds it will be several months before the industry knows the extent of how this will affect pricing and availability of sizes, Nash Produce is committed to shipping quality product to customers all year long.
As we know, Thanksgiving and sweet potatoes are practically synonymous. Despite the natural challenges Tami assures me that demand will be met.
“Nash Produce is receiving beautiful sweet potatoes from our farmers just in time for the holidays. Consumers will be able to create fabulous dishes with these sweet potatoes,” she assures me. “Sweet potatoes continue to be in high demand from consumers due to their health benefits and great taste! How can you not like a vegetable that has 'sweet' in its name? Consumers want new, exciting products.”
In response, Nash Produce now offers its white Bonita and purple Murasaki sweet potatoes in easy-carry 3 lb bags. These sweet potatoes are slightly different in texture, she explains, but maintain the same sweetness as the orange Covington sweet potato.
“Since these varieties are cooked exactly like the orange sweet potato, adding these to the retailer’s produce bin is a simple way to meet customer demand and need for new products,” Tami comments.
Additionally she shares that retailers who offer pre-cut sweet potatoes will definitely sell them. “Sweet potatoes can be tough to cut, so this is a great option. Also, retailers should showcase sweet potato recipes for something other than pies and casseroles. People want new options—sweet potatoes would be the perfect addition to any recipe as a natural sweetener. Nash Produce is here to help retailers maximize their in-store marketing programs,” she concludes.
Keep an eye on AndNowUKnow for the latest on all key fresh produce categories through the holidays and beyond.