Commodity: Organic Sweet Potatoes
Organic sweet potatoes accounted for more than 5% of sweet potato sales in 2015. If organics are popular in your store, it’s worth it to give organic sweet potatoes a try. Organic sweet potato sales increased by more than 20% in 2016. This holiday favorite can certainly add some dollars to the bottom line.
For more information on variety characteristics, visit our conventional sweet potatoes page.
Promote organic sweet potatoes heavily during the winter holidays. Cross-promote them with organic nuts, brown sugar and marshmallows.
Include organic sweet potatoes in summer grilling promotions as they are a more nutrient-dense option for a baked potato than regular potatoes. Appeal to health-conscious consumers by playing up the organic growing practices that result in reduced use of pesticides.
Offer samples of organic sweet potato french fries to attract consumers who might not be interested in sweet potatoes’ other uses.
Promote organic sweet potatoes to those consumers following paleo-style diets as a side dish to replace regular potatoes.
Consider adding organic sweet potatoes to your mix for the first time around the winter holidays. This is the time when most consumers are looking for sweet potatoes, so you may find more success with organic varieties when consumers already have sweet potatoes on their minds.
Offer both bagged and bulk organic sweet potatoes to appeal to consumers seeking both small and large quantities.
Consider displaying organic sweet potatoes with other organic potatoes and onions. Place conventional product across the aisle to make an attractive display that keeps conventional and organic product separate.
Include information about organic growing practices and sweet potatoes’ health benefits in your display.
In The Backroom
Organic sweet potatoes are most often shipped in 40-pound cartons.
United States grades
U.S. extra No. 1
U.S. No. 1
U.S. No. 2
Louisiana commercial (has same requirements as U.S. No. 2)
Louisiana jumbo (has same requirements as U.S. No. 2, except it cannot weight less than 16 oz.)
North Carolina grades
U.S. No. 1 medium (has same requirements as U.S. No. 1)
U.S. No. 1 small (has same requirements as U.S. No. 1, except maximum diameter cannot exceed 2¼ inches)
• Temperature: 55 to 60 F, 13-15.6 C
• Relative humidity: 85-90%
• Mist: no
• Typical shelf life: 10 to 14 days after packaging (before packaging, sweet potatoes store well un-der proper conditions for 52 weeks)
• Ethylene-sensitive (Do not store or transport ethylene-sensitive items with commodities that pro-duce ethylene.)
• Highly sensitive to freezing injury. (Likely to suffer injury by one light freezing.)
• Susceptible to chilling injury (Damage sometimes is not apparent until produce is returned to a higher temperature.)
• If stored for any length of time, sweet potatoes must first be cured for about four to five days at 85 F, 30 C, with a relative humidity of 85-90% or above.
• Do not refrigerate.