Sweet potato shippers and marketers are making big gains in changing consumers’ mindsets from “holiday only” to “year-round.”
Today’s shopper is on the hunt for something special that provides a heightened experience and less prep work, said Alexandra Rae Molumby, marketing director for Bakersfield, Calif.-based Bako Sweet.
She said the company’s triple-washed, value-added sweet potatoes can provide great lift for retailers at Easter and other holidays and throughout the year.
Easter is the third largest holiday for sweet potato sales because so many traditional Easter recipes call for them, Molumby said. As it does every year, Bako Sweet shared plenty of Easter recipe ideas with customers and consumers on its Pinterest page.
As crucial as the holidays are to the fresh sweet potato industry, Bako Sweet and other shippers know that it’s just as important to keep sales strong year-round.
If she had to choose two keys to marketing sweet potatoes year-round, Molumby said she would pick product availability and recipe inspiration.
“It’s important to us that we provide consistent, fresh, and quality sweet potatoes to our shoppers year-round,” she said.
Recently, a well-known retail partner of Bako Sweet’s asked the shipper to help them increase their summer sweet potato sales. Bako Sweet developed a grilling campaign that led to a total tonnage lift of 127% for the retailer.
New for 2023, Bako Sweet has refreshed some of the sticker designs on its Single Sweets products.
The new easy-peel design has a QR code on the back that will take shoppers to the Bako Sweet website for recipe inspiration, Molumby said.
Sweet potatoes, by the numbers:
5.5% — expected annual growth in fresh sweet potato category through 2028
Source: Data Bridge Market Research
42% — increase in sweet potato per-capita consumption from 2000 to 2016
1 — sweet potatoes’ ranking among the healthiest vegetables
Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest