Wada Farms' Eric Beck Discusses the Company's Program
IDAHO FALLS, ID - With the New Year on the horizon and 2016 coming to a close, now is the perfect time to reflect on what has been accomplished, and plan for the future. I connected with Wada Farms to look back at the recent season, and discuss what’s around the corner for the company. From exciting growth to new trend-driven products, Wada Farms seeks to capture consumer values and bring produce to the center of the plate.
“We’re very focused on understanding the consumer trends, and we are having a lot of fun in the research and development process,” Eric Beck, Marketing Director of Wada Farms, explains. “We are excited to see the evolution in trends of the value-added scene.”
Wada Farms has responded to these trends with “Quickies: Spuds in a Snap”, a new value-added product catering to this single-serve, health conscious consumer. Quickies are a single serve portion of mini red or yellow potatoes served in a convenient microwaveable tray, perfect for those 1-2 person households that don’t want excessive food waste. The product is currently in a soft introduction, with broad scale availability for retailers to capitalize on in early 2017.
The company never sits still for long. After launching its Idaho Organic potato line in the new eco-friendly Tatermade bag, and expanding its executive team earlier this year, Eric tells me that the core focus has been research and development.
The results? Consumers are clamoring for smaller, conveniently sized portions as their lifestyles become increasingly more on-the-go. Shoppers are becoming more nutrition-savvy, and with the upcoming onslaught of New Year’s resolutions, healthy options are gracing tables more often.
“One of the biggest obstacles we’ve had to overcome is the perception of potatoes as a ‘long cook time’ vegetable,” Eric says. “We have to challenge the status quo through packaging design; providing improved options and bringing consumers into the fold so they understand that potatoes can be prepared in a pinch to provide healthy, delicious snack options comparable to anything else in the marketplace.”
Also continuing to trend are sweet potatoes, with increases on both the domestic and international fronts as shopper excitement rises exponentially. In response, the company has been working to develop the domestic program, with anticipated increases in acreage in the coming year, along with improved supply chain efficiency to bring more value to buyers looking to differentiate their produce departments. The company is looking to gain deep understanding of these consumer trends.
Stay tuned as AndNowUKnow continues to cover innovative moves from Wada Farms.