Nash Produce Touting Mr. Yam family at Southern Exposure
Nash Produce found it very encouraging to see the Southeast Produce Council offering many avenues for companies to stay involved and active in Southern Exposure this year.
“We hope the hybrid option will allow many participants who may not have had the opportunity to attend in the past tap in virtually and ‘visit’ with us,” said Rebecca Scott, grower accounting and marketing director for the Nashville, NC-based company. “The COVID-19 pandemic is still very present in 2021 and thankfully, with the presence of enhanced safety measures and the availability of vaccines, there has been improvement in allowing us to slowly re-acclimate to gathering back together for events such as Southern Exposure.”
She likes the idea so much, that she hopes that hybrid shows will become an option for other industry shows this year.
“While our virtual booth is ready for visitors, we are still undecided on whether Nash Produce will be participating in-person at this time,” Scott said. “We are fortunate to have the opportunity to have the first round of the COVID-19 vaccine in our state as essential agriculture workers, but the second vaccination will not be available to staff until awfully close to the week of the show. Southern Exposure is one of our favorites of the year and we always enjoy being able to connect with customers face-to-face — or should I say mask-to-mask.”
The company feels the virtual option is still a great one and Nash Produce will get as much out of it that was if that’s the decision it eventually goes with.
“The team responsible for the creation of the virtual event space has done an amazing job at making the site easy to access as well as create a profile in,” Scott said. “Having the option for members to dial in virtually is a huge win for those that may not be able to venture out safely at this time.”
Even if it decides to attend in-person, Scott noted it will have a member of the team in North Carolina at the main office monitoring the virtual booth to allow team members that are in Florida to be able to focus more on visiting with individuals that are also in attendance.
“It is always exciting to participate in industry shows, especially when they are within our region,” Scott said. “The team at the SEPC always does an outstanding job in organizing each event year after year.”
Last year’s Southern Exposure was the last and only show that Nash Produce was able to attend in-person.
“During that show, there were whispers of the COVID-19 virus and that was before anyone really knew what it was,” Scott said. “It is hard to believe that the last in-person show was over a year ago now. The industry has adjusted gracefully and had positively grown leaps and bounds since then.”
This year, Nash Produce is currently assigned booth No. 614, and if the team is there in person, it will be bringing the whole Mr. Yam family.
“This includes individually-wrapped microwavable sweet potatoes, petite steamable packets, convenient carry mesh bags, display ready cases, our personal line of box top options, as well as our newest product, 3-4 count tray packs,” Scott said. “Those visiting our booth can expect to learn about our full range of services from personalized packaging all the way to logistics. They can also expect to learn about our commitment to our customers and our relationship with our dedicated grower base.”
When not speaking with friends and customers on the floor (or by web camera), the Nash Produce team plans to tap into the presentations that will be available throughout the event.
“Having additional insight on industry happenings is so important in our rapidly changing industry,” Scott said.
Since the SEPC show brings together many of the company’s East Coast customers in one location, it allows the company an opportunity to spend quality time with individuals in which the team normally spends many hours communicating with over phone, email, or video chat.
“While we enjoy all three modes of contact, nothing quite replaces in-person conversation,” Scott said. “The online portal has many unique aspects that will help our team tie into the show in different, but still highly informative and effective ways.”
With March here, Nash Produce’s growers are gearing up for the beginning stages of 2021 crop.
“Over the next few weeks, several of our local growers will begin laying seed potatoes either in greenhouses or fields in preparation for cutting slips in just a few short months,” Scott said. “These slips will be planted into the ground to produce mature, sweet potatoes ready for harvest this fall.”