COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Glory Foods, Inc. a manufacturer of conveniently prepared heat-and-eat seasoned Southern-style canned vegetables, condiments and frozen dinners has taken the leap into fresh produce with Glory Foods Mound Bayou Sweet Potatoes. Introduced in the fall of 1998 at Schnucks supermarkets in St. Louis, Missouri, the line features the Beauregard, a popular sweet potato with growers and consumers because of its natural sweet taste, plumpness and storage life. Cured in approximately 45 days, the Beauregard sweet potato is viewed as the number one producing variety in the country. Glory Foods Mound Bayou Sweet are available in Chicago at Jewel-Osco, Schnucks supermarkets in St Louis, Missouri, Albertsons stores and Wal-Mart Super Centers. Glory plans to expand its potatoes to additional markets by the end of the year. With consumers becoming increasingly health conscious, sweet potatoes are becoming the vegetable of choice. A spokesperson at the USDA notes that consumption of sweet potatoes is on the rise because of their natural nutritional value (high levels of Beta-Carotene, Vitamins A and C). In 1999, 4.6 pounds per capita were consumed. "I want Glory Foods Mound Bayou Sweet Potatoes to be the destination of choice for consumers who want a high quality brand of sweet potato," explains Bill Williams, president of Glory Foods, Inc. "During the holidays, sweet potato usage is very high, but we want Glory Foods sweet potatoes to be an important part of the family meal year-round," adds Williams. Providing quality Southern food products is a partnership Glory Foods shares with experienced African-American commercial farmers. Glory's relationship with Black farmers began in the early 90's through an alliance with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund (FSCLAF), an advocacy organization that provides technical support and hands on services to Black farmers. The union enabled Glory to gain invaluable insight on the issues and challenges facing these farmers. The company's commitment then, as it is now, is to provide resource and development support to insure their future in the 21st century. This effort is seen in partnerships formed with the 20 member Sweet Potato Growers Association Co-op (SPGAC) in Mound Bayou, MS, an historic black township founded in the late 1800s by ex-slaves. Mound Bayou was an impressive model for social and economic empowerment when it was founded. Today, because of its designation as an Empowerment Zone, the town is experiencing an economic revival because of companies like Glory that provide investment resources to help rebuild and strengthen its infrastructure. Glory leased land from SPGAC to grow sweet potatoes for its canned and frozen line, and market a percentage as fresh produce. Glory's support gives the assurance that the crops will be sold and the farmers will reap a return on their investment. Glory has also partnered with the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association to co-sponsor a five-year Minority Produce Business Development Program (MPBDP) to train the farmers on how to better grow and distribute quality products and become a larger part of the national produce industry. "This training gives us the ability to access additional markets and gain information on the latest production, marketing, storage and distribution techniques," explains Roger Morris, a member of SPGAC. "Having the support of Glory Foods and United will help us make the transition from growers to marketers." Glory Foods Southern Selections family-size frozen entrees and side dishes introduced in 1998 provides the consumer with yet another alternative in the frozen food aisle. Glory Foods Southern Selections offer 16 varieties of meat entrees, casseroles and vegetable side dishes generous enough for a family of four. Selections include Chicken & Dumplings, Macaroni & Cheese, Ham and Sausage Jambalaya, and Fried Corn. New additions to the line are Sweet Potato Casserole, Cream Spinach and Green Bean Casserole.
SOURCE Glory Foods, Inc.