Maine Public reports on sales of new potato variety developed by UMaine

Nory Jones and Harold Daniel, professors with the Maine Business School at the University of Maine, spoke with Maine Public for a report about getting a new potato variety on store shelves. The Caribou Russet, which was developed by the Maine Potato Board and UMaine’s School of Food and Agriculture, was unveiled more than a year ago, but has yet to be found in major grocery stores, according to the report. Jones, a professor of management information systems, said she sees the case of the Caribou Russet as a study in Maine’s shifting economies. “Maine as a whole is trying to change the way producers develop and market their products, and try to create value-added in the products and change them from being commodities to being branded, value-added products,” Jones said. Harold Daniel, a marketing professor, said there’s also risk involved when a store trumpets that a product is special, and maybe worth a higher price tag. “And that requires a demonstrably superior consumption experience,” he said. “Failing that, you can advertise all you want and you may generate a lot of trial, but you may not get the repeat purchase because if there’s not a demonstrably superior product, then the cheaper product is going to win.” The Bangor Daily News also carried the report.