OPS offers excellent opportunity for Wada Farms to showcase product line
While Wada Farms has expanded in recent years to include watermelon and some veg items, it is still very much known as a potato and onion house, and that is particularly true with its organic offerings. Wada’s organic line includes russet and varietal potatoes from late July through mid-April; onions from September to April; and sweet potatoes from October to early September.
“At the current time, Wada only offers organics in our core commodities,” said Eric Beck, director of marketing for Wada Farms Marketing Group in Idaho Falls, ID. “As we continue to develop our product portfolio, more organic offerings will be in the plans.” Wada Farms will feature its core of organic commodities at the upcoming Organic Produce Summit in Monterey, CA, said Beck. Wada will be represented there by Ben Josephson and Tate Brooks, who will welcome visitors to their booth (No. 719).
Beck said organic acreage for potatoes will be slightly reduced for the upcoming 2022 season, and there will be marginal reductions in all categories, including potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes. “Much like many other agriculturally based commodities, input costs to grow a crop have increased dramatically,” Beck said about the reduction. “Crop value assessments have played a more pivotal role in deciding what was planted for the upcoming 2022 season.”
But despite any dip in organic production, Beck said he expects demand for Wada’s organic line to remain steady, as organic shoppers are not apt to switch to conventional when prices rise or availability is short. “The organic shopper will remain true to their roots and continue buying organic,” he said. “Where we will see reduced growth will be with the consumer that has a mix of conventional and organic options but will lean toward conventional offerings based on variables such as availability and affordability.”
He said despite inflationary pressures that are resulting in the rise in food prices, there are still consumers that will always want an organic option. “We don’t see that demand changing, and we do anticipate more conversion to solely organic menus as attention for healthy living options are a continued focus for many consumers,” he said. Beck said Wada is continuing to work with its retail partners with category management on the items it offers, both conventional and organic.
“Wada provides many options that have value for our retail partners,” he said. “Our continued focus on supply chain efficiencies to help lower costs and keep profit margins in check are key right now in the current economic environment. We want to help position our retail partners where they can continue providing premium, high-quality produce at affordable prices to their customers. Wada also makes significant investments into consumer analytics that help assist in identifying those opportunities where market share can be gained.”
Regarding the upcoming Organic Produce Summit in Monterey, CA, Beck said Wada looks forward to the event each year, as it is an excellent opportunity to feature its organic lines while also learning the latest about the organic scene.