Country Sweet Produce's Gina Pettit Talks Bringing Bako Sweet® Brand to PMA Fresh Summit
- by Robert Schaulis
NEW ORLEANS, LA – The season seems to be speeding up around the ANUK offices as the industry begins to gear up for 2017 PMA Fresh Summit, showcasing clever new offerings and culinary applications for fresh produce. One company on the forefront of innovations and culinary creations is Country Sweet Produce and its Bako Sweet® brand sweet potatoes. As first-time exhibitors at the event, the company is making its debut by highlighting the versatility of the sweet potato category and the uniqueness of its newly enhanced value-added line.
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Gina Pettit, Marketing and Specialty Sales Manager, and learn a little more about the company’s plans for PMA Fresh Summit.
“As first timers we wanted to make a splash, as we are very excited to showcase our new line of value-added items to a large audience. We have renowned chef Mike Thompson, from NOLA Kitchen, and he has made the booth all about the amazing versatility with sweet potatoes—and showing off our microwavable steamer bag by creating three delicious, Cajun infused recipes, all within 10 minutes, start-to-finish!”
“People are becoming more and more excited about all they can do with sweetpotatoes, so when the opportunity is presented to show them how easy it is to create these caliber of recipes – it’s always a fun time,” Gina told me. “The Chefs we have worked with this past year really pushed forward with these Bako Sweet® creations, as you will see at the booth."
In addition to all the fun at Booth 4534, Bako Sweet is featuring new organic offerings in PMA’s Fresh Ideas Showcase.
“In the Fresh Ideas Showcase, we will display our new 4 count Organic Sweet Potato tray packed in a 100 percent recyclable and compostable tray,” Gina noted, explaining that packaging is key when it comes to a category like sweet potatoes. “Merchandising is so important – especially with value-added items. Consumers are looking for convenient healthy eating options and these items can often get lost in the mix if not merchandised properly."
With an array of packaged options suitable to the needs of a variety of consumers, Bako Sweet is helping elevate the sweet potato category, educate eaters via direct to consumer marketing, and tap into increasingly health-conscious consumer trends. Gina noted that the sweet potato is a super food packed with vitamins and nutrients that are extremely beneficial and rich for any healthy eating lifestyle.
“As a company we are determined to promote healthy eating lifestyles. Understanding each consumer is different, we try to execute new concepts matching different phases of life.” Gina added. “Sweet potatoes are approved for any healthy eating trend, i.e. Whole 30 and Paleo. They level out blood sugar levels, hormones, and provide a consistent source of energy throughout the day. We want to encourage people to eat more sweets.”
Attendees at the 2017 PMA Fresh Summit can check out Bako Sweet’s on-trend offerings at booth 4534. AndNowUKnow will continue to report on all things fresh produce.