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Remote Island Living

How three supermarkets in Alaska compete for produce share.

By Carol M. Bareuther, RD

Subsistence is still a way of life on Kodiak Island, Alaska. Shoot a moose and the monetary equivalent of this food will qualify you as a “producer” and eligible for USDA funding for a pilot “High Tunnel” project that can increase the local produce growing season by up to three weeks. That’s huge, considering summer lasts about two months or less on this island located in the Gulf of Alaska, some 200 air miles southwest of Anchorage.

Kodiak is the second-largest island in the United States, measuring just more than 3,500 square miles. Like the first and third, the “Big Island” of Hawaii and Puerto Rico, respectively, the only way for people or products to reach Kodiak is either by boat or plane.


This Spud’s For You

Wisconsin potatoes offer taste, value and plenty of varieties.

By Anthony Stoeckert

One produce item with wide appeal is undoubtedly the potato. Whether they’re baked and served with a steak or mashed and served with pot roast, people love a meat and potatoes combination. They also fit the vegetarian lifestyle and can be marketed to people aiming to eat more healthfully.

Potato professionals from Wisconsin will tell you their spuds are the best. With classic potatoes always in style, along with varieties that are growing in popularity, there are plenty of opportunities for retailers to get the word out about Wisconsin potatoes, and increase sales.

One of the best ways to market Wisconsin potatoes is by letting your customers know all about their quality. “In the Central Sands area of Wisconsin, where we live and work, the soil is perfect for growing potatoes,” says Randy Shell, vice president of marketing and new business development for RPE, based in Bancroft, WI. “Wisconsin also has a great climate for growing, which means quality potatoes.”


Fruit Baskets For Holidays And More

Hardiest varieties work best and make the most pristine statement.

By Linda Brockman

A few years ago, Rita Neczypor, marketing and packaging design coordinator at Procacci Brothers, a produce wholesaler and distributor based in Philadelphia, made up a half-dozen fruit baskets for a customer, who then distributed them as holiday gifts or so she thought. It turns out the customer had left one behind in her car. Two weeks later, when she discovered the basket in her trunk, the woman called Neczypor to report her surprise at the condition of the fruit. Granted, it was winter in Pennsylvania, but Neczypor claims the fruit remained fresh.

“If the cold chain is not broken, our fruit baskets will last at least 10 days after shipped from our warehouse,” says Neczypor. “If someone is giving this as a gift, it has to look pristine.”


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