Prescott Leyba of Bako Sweet® Shares Details on Upcoming Sweet Potato Season
BAKERSFIELD, CA - As an avid sweet potato lover, I have learned that you can’t let the name fool you. The delectable offering can be added to sweet and savory recipes alike, making sweet potatoes an excellent option for consumers as they look for healthy eating options. As shopper demand for the category continues to rise, Bako Sweet® has begun transplanting its sweet potatoes in preparation for the coming season.
“To begin the transplanting process, we cut slips, 12” long plants grown from sweet potato seed in our hotbeds and transfer them to our growing fields nearby. It’s at these fields where they are transplanted into the ground to grow into new crop sweet potatoes eventually. The process is off to a good start, but we’ve certainly got a busy couple of months ahead of us,” Prescott Leyba, Director of Sales, explains.
The grower and supplier has been in its storage crop season for the past few months. Its climate-controlled storage capabilities provide an optimal environment for sweet potatoes and ensure no quality concerns. Sweet potatoes love the heat and grow very well in Bakersfield, California, especially during the hot season, which usually lasts from June to September.
Bako Sweet utilizes hotbeds when planting its sweet potatoes because they trap the heat, keeping the plants growing on pace for harvest in the fall. The company’s packing and shipping operation at Country Sweet Produce is close to major highways in all directions and just 90 miles from Los Angeles, California, one of the central distribution hubs for the nation.
Due in part to Bako Sweet’s sweet potato quality, consumer demand for its products continues to rise, with current volumes reflecting that trend.
“Sweet potatoes have never been more popular. Each year, we see an increase in demand over a period that isn’t necessarily ‘sweet potato season,’ and we expect the current level of demand to be maintained through the next few months,” adds Prescott. “Coming off the heels of Easter and the corresponding sweet potato lift, we’re certainly heading into the tightest supply period of the season. Supply will only tighten as we get closer to the new crop harvest in late summer.”
To capitalize on climbing yearly demand, Bako Sweet recommends creating displays that feature many of the brand’s products to meet differing shopper needs.
“Pair bulk sweet potatoes with our value-added offerings,” Prescott urges. “By having both product categories on display, consumers can discover versatile options that help make selecting, storing, and cooking that much easier. Make your store a destination for sweet potatoes with merchandising tactics and a concerted effort to drive foot traffic.”
Take advantage of consumer trends by incorporating Bako Sweet’s line of sweet potatoes into your produce aisle this summer for endless options for shoppers and increased register rings for your store.