Health/Nutrition/Food Safety, Trends, Varieties

UK: Purple potatoes offer fresh sales opportunity

© Ken McKay-REX ShutterstockPromoting the health benefits of purple potatoes could help get spuds included in the recommended five-a-day fruit and veg portions and boost fresh potato sales. Fresh potato consumption has slipped in recent years due to increased consumer focus on convenience foods and the myth that spuds are unhealthy and fattening. A recent boom in soft fruit sales has been driven by the perceived health benefits of berries with high levels of anthocyanin – a pigment that gives fruit its red, blue or purple colour. Potato supplier Albert Barlett introduced a non-GM high anthocyanin purple fleshed potato variety called Purple Majesty to the market in 2010, but it’s had limited commercial success so far. Cathie Martin of the John Innes Centre believes more could be done to promote the potential health benefits of such varieties to the consumer, which in turn could open new opportunities for producers. More

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