North America

Canadian ‘Spudpocalypse’ campaign targets Massachusetts

A new advertising campaign warns of an impending “spudpocalypse,” chipping into potato supplies and driving price spikes as Prince Edward Island tubers are hit with a moratorium on exports. “Shelves will soon be bare … help us stop the spudpocalypse,” blares a video clip for the ad campaign’s new website — spudpocalypse.com.

As Sean Philip Cotter reports for the Boston Herald, the spot that also features a hand labeled “USDA” swatting away cartoon potatoes as a crunchy rock guitar grooves.

The Prince Edward Island version of Big Potato is targeting Massachusetts because the spud-loving Bay State accounts for an outsized number of Prince Edward Island potatoes in the U.S. One of the few big potato-packers in the area says they have a point.

Greg Maheris, who runs potato distributor J Maheris Co. in Chelsea, said he’s seen a drop of about 30% in the total number of spuds coming in. He normally sees upward of about 70,000 pounds of Prince Edward Island potatoes — so the lack of them is leading to fewer spuds at higher prices, especially in concert with a bad growing year out west in the midst of heat, fires and transportation issues.

“It’s going to be awful — store shelves are already empty,” said Maheris, who operates out of the New England Produce Center in an industrial area of the city sandwiched between the Mystic Mall and the old King Arthur’s Lounge.

Massachusetts is the second-largest U.S. market for Prince Edward Island potatoes, generally just behind Puerto Rico — though the Bay State actually was number one for the 2020-2021 season, gulping down 768,593 pounds of the 2,637,735 pounds sent to the U.S. That’s about 29%.

Source: Boston Herald. Read the full story here

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