Matthews Ridgeview Farms prepares for spring sweet potato season
For five generations, Matthews Ridgeview Farms has been a leading grower of sweet potatoes, and has the ability to store and ship more than a million bushels a year.
“Sweet potatoes have become a popular item year-round, but there is obviously more of a demand in the fall, so spring sweet potatoes help promote during a time the demand isn’t as high,” said Autumn Campbell, sales manager for the Wynne, AR-based company. “I think the spring is a good time after New Year’s resolutions are being made for healthier living.”
With the rich history Matthews Ridgeview Farms has, the company is well versed on what it takes to be a success, and it’s seen business grow year after year, with the spring sales increasing as well.
“I think promoting during this time is important to keep your product in the spotlight and helps boost sales overall,” Campbell said. “Consistency in quality and customer service as well as promoting our products are the keys to success.”
In early 2022, the company was getting ready for what it hoped would be a strong spring sweet potato season, but there were some issues affecting the category and the industry at large.
“Right now, there’s a lot impacting the category,” Campbell said. “The cost of freight and materials have impacted us across the board.”
Thankfully, the early word on sweet potato crops is good, and Matthews Ridgeview Farms expects to have a season that rivals last year, which was a strong one.
“It’s definitely close to where we were last year, and we do not have any concerns at this time,” Campbell said. “We need to get people on board for boosting sales when other categories rise and when weather changes and the holidays are over. With health-conscious consumers and quick convenient products that families can prepare quickly in their busy schedules, sales continue to look good through spring.”
Easter is usually a big time for sweet potatoes as well, so the company will be doing what it can to help retailers market the category to entice more sales. Campbell would like to see stores beef up promotions, feature recipes in displays and highlight the nutritional information of sweet potatoes.
“I would like to see consumers become more health conscious after the past couple of years we have had in this country,” she said. “What we do in our daily lives to be healthy matters with illness and preventing illness. Sweet potatoes are a super food and have many health benefits.”
As it looks to the rest of 2022, Matthews Ridgeview Farms is excited about what lies ahead.
“We are comfortable in our new facility that we started in 2016 and were officially operating out of in 2018,” Campbell said. “It has been a success for us in being able to offer our customers more variety in pack sizes and products. We will continue to grow and expand as needed to stay consistent in the industry and meeting all of our customers’ needs.”