Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 47

AS MORE AND MORE CONSUMERS learn about the many health
benefits of sweet potatoes, the vegetable long associated with
Thanksgiving and Christmas is emerging as a year-round favorite.
It's the annual goal of Nashville, N.C.-based Nash Produce to transition
between old-crop and new-crop sweet potatoes so seamlessly that
customers and consumers don't even notice the changeover, said
Rebecca Scott, the company's grower accounting and marketing director.
This year's late-season crop, for instance, looked and tasted just as
good as new-crop product out of the fields last fall, Scott said.
" Our facilities have been growing over the past two years to include
additional controlled temperature storage, which it a great benefit for
extending the crop until the following year's harvest occurs. "
Sand Candy Produce, a new participant in the sweet potato deal,
expects a smooth transition from old to new crop, with very little
overlap, said Troy Bland, CEO of Glennville, Ga.-based Bland Farms and
one of the principles of Sand Candy.
That may not, however, be the case for all shippers.
" For the industry, it looks like it could be a tricky transition with a lot
of old crop sweet potatoes still in storage, " Bland said. " Buyers will need
to be sure what they're receiving from suppliers through Thanksgiving
this year. "
For the most part, North Carolina growers will be starting with a fresh
crop this season, as all of the 2020 product was moved during the 2020
season, said Michelle Grainger, executive director of the Benson-based
North Carolina Sweetpotato Commission.
" We expect an excellent crop this season, " Grainger said. " Our 2020
season was very successful and we expect overwhelming demand for
this year's crop. "
The commission has heard from some of its growers that yields are
up and the season is looking great, but in other parts of the state where
it's wetter or dryer, the opposite could be true, she said.
An investment in year-round coverage
In addition to Nash Produce's several new controlled-temperature
facilities, which are used for both curing and storing sweet potatoes
throughout the year, the company has also installed a new bulk loader
and scale for increased accuracy.
This year's crop was sizing up very well as harvest neared, and overall
volumes appear to be right where they need to be to keep up with
the rising demand, Scott said. The growing season got off to a cold
start and has been abnormally wet, but Nash Produce's network
of growers excellent quality at harvest. The company expected to
begin transitioning to the new crop towards the end of October.
Sweet potato volume has been on the rise for several years, due
to the not-so-secret discovery of all the positive health benefits
they offer, Scott said.
" There is genuinely no downside to enjoying sweet potatoes.
They're packed with beta-carotene, potassium, and many essential
vitamins and minerals. Dietitians rave over the health benefits of
consuming them, they're available fresh year-round, and there are so
many ways to enjoy them. "
Sweet potatoes' natural sweetness is also good for consumers with
diabetes. Diabetic patients who consume sweet potatoes on a routine
basis improve their blood sugar levels.
supermarketperimeter.com
OCTOBER 2021 - 47
Diversified sourcing
Sand Candy, Bland said, combines the strengths of each of its partners,
which are drawn from both Georgia and North Carolina. (Besides
Bland Farms, member companies include Battleboro Produce, Boyette
Brothers Produce LLC and Sandyland Produce.)
" The company provides diversification of growing areas, which can
reduce volume risk for our customers due to bad weather in one of the
regions. "
The North Carolina-based partners have a strong and growing export
customer base, while the Georgia business has extensive and long
relationships with many of the top US retailers, Bland added.
The company's goal in its first year is to build the business through
helping its US retailers and export customers expand their sales of
sweet potatoes. It will do that, he said, by providing ample volumes to
promote and a range of product sizes and packaging styles.
" We also have the ability to have multiple shipping points, which will
enable us to reduce freight costs. "
The demand for sweet potatoes continues to increase, due in large
part to the health benefits, Bland said. Sand Candy's member growers
have also found that the convenience of year-round availability
drives demand.
Sand Candy will be able to provide full marketing and promotional
services to customers including in-store POS, social media, and
customer specific marketing. In addition, the company can provide
mixed loads of sweet potatoes and sweet onions as needed, as well as
mixed bins of sweet potatoes and sweet onions upon request.
And the company is offering all pack styles, from 3 and 5 lb bags to
shrink wrap and steamables.
Sand Candy, a new
player in the sweet
potato deal, sources
from both North
Carolina and Georgia.
NASH PRODUCE, SAND CANDY
http://www.supermarketperimeter.com

Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021

Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - Intro
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 4
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 5
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 6
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 7
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 8
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 9
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 10
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 11
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 12
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 13
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 14
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 15
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 16
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 17
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 18
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 19
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 20
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 21
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 22
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 23
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 24
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 25
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 26
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 27
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 28
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 29
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 30
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 31
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 32
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 33
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 34
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 35
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 36
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 37
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 38
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Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 41
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Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 46
Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 47
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Supermarket Perimeter - October 2021 - 76
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