Growers in the Red River Valley are confident in their potatoes.

“As growers, we really believe in our product. We have a healthy low fat food,” said David Moquist, owner and sales manager at O.C. Schulz & Sons Inc., Crystal, N.D.

Retail promotions emphasize 'goodness' of potatoes

Courtesy Northern Plains Potato Growers Association

Potatoes in the Red River Valley are grown without irrigation, which could improve flavor, says Ted Kreis, marketing and communications director for Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, East Grand Forks, Minn.

Potatoes can be considered expensive on a per-pound basis, but compared to other foods, they’re mostly inexpensive, and are full of vitamins and nutrients, Moquist said.

Red River Valley potatoes are unique because they are one of the few red potatoes in the country that are grown without irrigation, said Ted Kreis, marketing and communications director for Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, East Grand Forks, Minn.

The heavy, dark soil makes that possible.

“We think that gives the potatoes a lot more flavor then you’d typically find in an irrigated potato,” Kreis said.

Although individual retailers can place red potatoes where they want, the National Potato Promotion Board created a layout that seemed to really help increase sales, said Steve Tweten, president of NoKota Packers Inc., Buxton, N.D.

Getting potatoes from the valley in the front of stores and in consumers minds is important, said Cory Seim, general manager of Northern Valley Growers LLC, Hoople, N.D.

Tri-Campbell Farms, Grafton, N.D., will push the products and promotions it did last year, said Tom Campbell, an owner.

The company is the only one selling a single-serve microwavable red baker potato. The company also plans to continue to promote its 2-pound baby red mesh bag.

Folson Farm Corp., East Grand Forks, Minn. will have smaller potatoes in clamshells, said Bryan Folson, president.

Ryan Potato Co., East Grand Forks, will also continue a promotion it began last year, said Mike Rerick, sales manager.

The company had a monthly promotion where an item is selected and promoted through an e-mail campaign.

The promotion worked well, and helped the company gain recognition through word of mouth, Rerick said.