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A Chance To Improve

The last couple of months, I’ve written about the importance of adding value and giving consumers something special. And I could probably fill several more columns with some of the same ideas. But I think it’s time to show you what I’ve been talking about – and been hearing about. Spudman has a role to fill in the industry as a showcase for new ideas. It’s our job to show you what’s so great – not just talk about it.

This month, I had a chance to talk in-depth with USPB’s chairman Ray Meiggs and USPB President Tim O’Connor about their December trip to the United Kingdom. They gave some wonderful insight into the industry in the UK, and I’m eager to share it with you – check out page 12 for the whole story.

On this trip they visited stores and talked with retailers about turning around the potato market with whole-meal solutions and innovative packaging. Tim and Ray each speaks with enthusiasm about the changing potato industry, and I can’t help but feel positive about what’s to come.

Without giving away too much of the story, I wanted to present you with a snippet of the things Ray and Tim had to say.

“Wal-Mart caused a lot of disruption in the retail marketplace in the last 20 years, and every other retailer is focusing on price and is struggling to compete on price,” Tim said. “There are a number of things Wal-Mart won’t be beat on, and price is one. But Wal-Mart can’t do some of the things other retailers can do – working on innovation and connecting with the consumer.

“New products are so much the key.”

Ray echoed that sentiment and said it’s up to growers to go to the retailers with ideas.

“Keep knocking on the door,” he said.

These ideas all will give the potato industry a chance to improve the way it reaches its consumers.

Readership Survey

Just like the potato industry as a whole, Spudman is looking for ways to better serve our consumers – you. And it’s that time again... time for Spudman’s annual readership survey. In the past, our readership surveys have shown that we’re the industry’s premier source for potato information. And we want to keep it that way. We want to be where you continue to turn for news that affects you.

There is always room to improve. We want to know what you like about Spudman – and what you’d like to see changed. We want to know about you and your farm. But don’t think the survey’s all for us. We want to see the industry go forward. We want to remain your No. 1 source for all things potato. We want you to succeed. Plus, everyone who participates will be entered in a drawing to win a $100 gift certificate to Cabela’s.

It’s easy. Just visit http://www.spudman.com/pages/survey.php.

Originally posted Saturday, Apr. 7, 2007

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