Wada Farms Marketing Group LLC, located in Idaho Falls, ID, works to provide its customers with steady movement of potatoes. “We are always running pretty consistently during the entire year,” Kevin Stanger, senior vice president sales and marketing, told The Produce News. “It will have its normal seasonality where we run a bit harder for holiday business and slow down a bit during the mid and late summertime. But overall we’re running every week.”
At the current time, Wada Farms is moving an even split of Norkotahs and Burbanks into the pipeline. “We also grow and ship colored potatoes from September through April sometimes,” Stanger went on to say.
Potato quality has been very good. “Sizing is also split out into a nice range,” he continued. “We have a good middle size of carton potatoes, 60-count through 100-count, and good consumer pack size volume also.”
New automated sorters have been added to the company’s packaging facility. “We’ve heavily expanded our red/yellow production line along with a finished cold storage unit to store all of our colored and specialty items in a controlled environment,” he added.
Wada Farms markets potatoes throughout the continental United States and does a small volume of export, which Stanger said is seeing some growth. “Most of our business is heavier to the Midwest and up and down the Eastern corridor,” Stanger commented.
Product is packed under several Wada Farms labels, and the company is also an exclusive potato, onion and sweet potato marketing arm for Dole. Private labeling is also done at customer request.
“Our value-added products include Easy Baker, individually wrapped microwave potatoes; Microwave in Bag, our bagged ready-to-cook small potato offerings; foil-wrapped tray packs; and our new Smalls, petite-size potatoes,” Stanger said.