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Processing Market Consolidates

Idaho Fresh-Pak Corp., doing business under the brand name Idahoan, announced a joint venture in March with United Potato Growers of Idaho and R.D. Offutt Co. The new co-op will control about 34 percent of U.S. instant mashed potato processing capabilities.

The merger will streamline the process of bringing potato products to consumers and will make R.D. Offutt the national foodservice sales team for the group. R.D. Offutt is the largest potato grower in the country and has dehydration plants in Idaho, Nevada and North Dakota. Fresh-Pak is a national distributor of retail, foodservice and club brand potato products with plants in Idaho.

“The bundling of our resources to reduce overall costs for our customers is the key to our decision to join forces,” said Ryan Clement, president of Fresh-Pak. “Our intent is to continue to outpace our industry’s and competitors’ growth while continuing to innovate in the area of product development, distribution and customer support.”

The establishment of the new co-op will be subject to government approval, Clement said.

Originally posted Thursday, Mar. 29, 2007

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