The Ontario potato growing season was characterized by adverse weather conditions. “We had almost everything from a hot, dry early spring into a cool wet June. This was followed by a humid July and August,” says Stephanie Cutaia with EarthFresh. The weather circumstances delayed Ontario harvest start dates. “Harvest has been in full swing for about two months now and is expected to continue through October,” Cutaia added.
Local and regional sourcing
EarthFresh grows potatoes on its own farm in Ontario and sources from other local farmers who grow EarthFresh’s exclusive varieties. In addition to growing locally, the company sources potatoes across Canada as well as from 38 US states. “Sourcing from so many different regions assures our customers receive the finest product year-round,” said Cutaia. “Our local supply generally carries our customers into the New Year and from then on, we source from partner growers elsewhere.”
Agata and Whitney gaining popularity
Russet Burbank and Russet Norkota are EarthFreshs’ most popular potato varieties, but new EarthFresh varieties, including the Agata (yellow fleshed) and the Whitney (white potato) are gaining popularity. In addition to white, red, yellow and russet potatoes, EarthFresh offers a full line of specialty potatoes including Organics, Minis and Fingerlings.
Last year, EarthFresh launched its Celebratoes, a quick and fresh side dish for dinner or any occasion. Celebratoes are fresh baby potatoes along with a seasoning pack and are now available in a recyclable three-in-one cooking tray. They are ready to oven roast, BBQ or microwave. The product is available in three flavors: white cheddar & rosemary, lemon & garlic and jalapeno & cheddar.
In addition to potato innovations, EarthFresh focuses on packaging of the product as well. “Our light blocking bags are a great example of an environmental-friendly solution that keeps the potatoes safe and fresh,” shared Cutaia. “This type of packaging keeps the light off potatoes, which keeps them fresher for longer.”
To support consumers in picking the right potato for the right cooking task, EarthFresh offers the ‘Cook the Right Potato’ program. It educates the consumer on different potato varieties available and their unique cooking methods. “Helping shoppers pick the right potato results in them getting maximum satisfaction from the cooked product,” mentioned Cutaia.