Potatoes USA Pulls Back the Curtain on Consumer Buying Behaviors
DENVER, CO - Potatoes remain a leading category staple at retail. As growers keep pace with increasing demand, Potatoes USA continues to bring value for both growers and retailers. I got in touch with the organization to learn more about the initiatives and studies that will take place this upcoming fiscal year.
“We’re working on a couple of things over this next year. Right now, all of our retail growers are moving at full capacity to bring products into stores,” Kayla Dome, Marketing Manager, tells me. “In order to best maximize cross-promotional opportunities, our Culinary Director, Chef RJ Harvey, developed recipes for our campaign, Five Pounds, Five Ways.”
At retail, 5-lb bags of fresh potatoes continue to be the most popular size in shopping carts. With this shelf-stable produce being bought in bulk, Potatoes USA aims to educate consumers on the nutritional benefits while also helping home-chefs utilize the whole package of potatoes without waste.
“We’ve created five different recipes for the four different kinds of potatoes that come in 5 lb bags: red, white, yellow, and russet,” Kayla asserts. “We’re also creating a social media app for all of our growers and for retailers to use to get more ideas and inspiration.”
For those that might have questions about the effectiveness of these best practices and cross-promotional methods, Potatoes USA is already a step ahead. Kayla explains the organization is planning on finding out those answers through a new study aimed directly at consumers.
“Our next study will be in two parts,” Kayla elaborates. “We will look into how consumers are interacting with potatoes in different areas of the store as well as how shopping habits have changed.”
During the first phase of the study, Potatoes USA will dive deeper into how consumers use different tools, both in-store and online, to purchase their potatoes. This will analyze consumer total store potato shopping habits pre-COVID. It will help Potatoes USA and the rest of the industry understand the changes and where we started.
With the current COVID-19 pandemic in place, the association is also looking into how consumer habits have changed long-term, providing insight for retailers to continue promoting potatoes in an effective way.
“The first phase will be to establish what the base behavior is, and the second phase will determine how consumer preferences have adapted,” Kayla continues. “What promotional opportunities are there and what tools are being utilized in order to decide to purchase potatoes, whether it is in-store or online? We will try and answer these questions in our total store study as well as analyze how consumers are shopping for potatoes.”
Potatoes USA expects to start the first phase of the study Kantar Insights Consulting this month and projects to be completed early next year. While next year seems a lifetime away and anything could change, this study by Potatoes USA could be creating a blueprint for future challenges to come. Anything we can learn at present will be impactful as the market changes and evolves.
ANUK will report on the developments and results as they come, so keep checking back for the latest.