Frieda's Specialty Produce Alex Jackson Berkley Discusses the Stokes Purple® Sweet Potato
- by Eva Roethler
LOS ALAMITOS, CA - As we turn the corner towards the cooler seasons and the best time of year, it's also the prime time to shine for one of my favorite hearty vegetables: the Stokes Purple® sweet potato.
I live for carbs and sweet flavors, and this starchy spud exists at the intersection of everything that I love. In order to determine what the season holds in store for this unique tuber, I connected with Alex Jackson Berkley, Senior Account Manager of Frieda's Specialty Produce. Frieda’s is the exclusive sales and marketing agent for the Stokes variety worldwide.
“We have a great volume of both conventional and organic to supply the demand this year. Purple fruits and vegetables are trending, so retailers who are planning their fall sets can incorporate this item into their sweet potato display or their organic display, depending on which variety they are interested in,” Alex shares. “And, capture extra attention by setting up a ‘Power of Purple’ display with all of your purple produce grouped together, featuring Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes.”
As we’ve previously reported, purple food is the hot item this year, with nods in NBC’s TODAY, Fortune, Forbes, Food & Wine, Parade, and Consumer Reports. Whole Foods even announced purple produce, including the beloved Stokes, as one of 2017's food trends, according to the company.
As the industry enters the sprint through Fall, the holidays will be here in no time. For buyers looking to plan their promotions in the later months, Alex stresses the importance of planning ahead for November and Christmas sales, as that is when the Stokes Purple® sees the most lift. “Use Stokes Purple® to add color break among all the orange and brown of fall potatoes,” said Alex.
The best place to start planning for these seasons?
“Getting in touch with the Frieda’s sales team,” Alex tells me. “We offer POS support and sales incentives for those retailers who are interested. We strive to provide our clients help on all fronts, even down to the glue on our stickers. Most retailers struggle with keeping a PLU sticker on sweet potatoes, however, Frieda’s label has combated this issue with our strong adhesive.”
With tantalizing visions of Stokes Purple® possibilities dancing in my head, I ask Alex which trends she’s noticing take hold as the push for sweet potatoes ramps up.
“Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes are not just for side dishes anymore,” Alex offers. “They’re spiralized into noodles, baked into ‘toasts,’ frozen into cubes for smoothies, blended into batter for baked goods, or even stuffed with chocolate and peanut butter for dessert. They are super popular with fitness enthusiasts and elite athletes as well.”
Despite its nutty, sweet, dessert-like flavor, consumers can count on Stokes Purple® for great nutrition without any guilt. The health benefit of sweet potatoes is only becoming more well known— and this variety offers another option for those looking to incorporate the powerful antioxidant properties, another selling point which Alex tells me helps capture consumer dollars in the basket.
With my curiosity satiated, now all I can do is anxiously wait for the day Stokes Purple® returns to my local produce department!