New fresh-cut sweet potatoes from Mann Packing Co. Inc. were inspired by consumer research conducted by the Salinas, Calif., shipper.

Although frozen sweet potato sales were spiking, sales of the fresh-cut sweet spuds were lagging behind, said Mann’s marketing and communications specialist Elena Hernandez. The company conducted a consumer survey to find out why.

The survey revealed that many consumers were not aware that fresh-cut sweet potatoes were available, Hernandez said. Also, when consumers saw them, they said they looked like carrots.

The company switched to crinkle cuts to make them look more like traditional french fries. Mann also redesigned packaging to feature a photograph of the fries on a plate with ketchup.

Hernandez said the new packaging includes nutritional information and preparation suggestions.

The packages of fresh-cut sweet potato fries still come in two sizes, but both have been reduced by two ounces because of the changes in the product cut. Hernandez said they are available in 10-ounce and 22-ounce retail packages. Suggested price is $3.29 to $4.99 depending on the size of package and market area.