A study by Potatoes USA shows that 22% of Americans eat potatoes multiple times weekly, revealing their cultural significance despite health perceptions ranking them low among vegetables. Spanning various ethnic groups, potatoes are considered a foundational food, with 53% of adults deeming them culturally important. Moreover, Americans appreciate potatoes for their taste, cost, and nutrition, with 72% recognizing their good value.
Resilient Irish potato market navigates harsh weather, shortfall reported in European potato supplies
The Irish Farmers Association reports a rise in potato sales due to their economic value in the cost-of-living crisis. Despite tough harvesting, consumption has increased, with the UK and Northern Europe facing supply challenges. Potential losses in Europe could lead to 800,000 tonnes of potatoes being lost, prompting interest in imports to cover deficits in spring. This situation offers both obstacles and prospects for the potato industry.
‘Perceptions and emotions’: How consumers in the U.S. and Switzerland view New Genomic Techniques in agriculture
Scientists from ETH Zurich, Arizona State University and the University of Oregon studied U.S. and Swiss attitudes toward agricultural New Genomic Techniques (NGTs). Approximately 50% of survey participants viewed NGTs like blight-resistant potatoes and gluten-free wheat positively; emotional response influenced acceptance, with Swiss showing more skepticism due to stricter regulations. Preferences for organic food did not correlate with NGT acceptance, suggesting the need for the organic sector to reassess consumer expectations in the face of new technologies.
Carrefour supermarkets in France have ceased selling PepsiCo products due to price hikes. The ban will extend to Belgium, Spain, and Italy. Carrefour cited “unacceptable price increases” for popular items like Lay’s chips. PepsiCo, which has raised prices by double-digit percentages for seven consecutive quarters, stated it is in discussions with Carrefour. The French grocery chain has not specified when the ban will take effect in the other countries.
In her article “Fries with that: How potato tastes tell the story of Britain’s changing diet,” data journalist Lauren Orso analyzes the shift in British dietary preferences using DEFRA’s Family food statistics. Fresh potato purchases have declined drastically since 1974, while processed potatoes have risen in popularity. The COVID-19 pandemic briefly revived fresh potato purchases, but overall, processed options now surpass fresh green vegetables, signaling a significant change in dietary preferences.
In a piece for Food Matters Live, Anna Turns highlights the significant environmental impact of food production, which contributes to 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions. She outlines 10 promising sustainability trends for 2023, including upcycled foods, lower-impact cooking, sustainable crops, and regenerative agriculture. This shift towards circular, less wasteful models and more environmentally friendly supply chains reflects the food industry’s ongoing efforts to create a responsible and sustainable food system.
In a remarkable display of community spirit, Surrey in Canada’s British Columbia province recently witnessed “Ugly Potato Day,” a unique event aimed at combating food waste and feeding thousands. The event was organized by Heppell’s Potatoes. The company distributed visually unappealing yet edible potatoes that are typically discarded. The initiative garnered a large turnout, raising awareness about food waste while providing food to those in need. This initiative sets an example for addressing food insecurity.
The Packer’s Fresh Trends 2024 survey reveals that potatoes are a top choice for consumers facing grocery price inflation. According to the survey, 30% of consumers buy more potatoes during inflation, making it a popular choice after bananas (32%) and above apples (23%). Notably, the survey found that lower-income consumers are most likely to buy more potatoes due to inflation.
A recent global review of top-selling Pringles flavors revealed that Original and Sour Cream & Onion are universally popular. Despite offering over 160 flavors worldwide, these two remain consistent best-sellers. Regional preferences shine through in unique flavors such as Pigs in Blanket in the UK and Egg Sandwich in Japan. Pringles enthusiasts are encouraged to share their favorites and suggest new flavors via the brand’s Instagram. Sales peak during events like the Super Bowl and Chinese New Year.
Potatoes facing a ‘grainy’ future? Astonishing debate about the vegetable status of the potato challenges common sense
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is actually considering reclassifying potatoes from vegetables to a category alongside rice and grains. This bizarre proposal has sparked debate within the nutritional and agricultural communities. The National Potato Council vehemently opposes the reclassification. Potato News Today firmly stands with the growers, scientists, and consumers who advocate for the potato to remain classified as the nutritious vegetable it rightfully is. We can’t help but wonder how this particular Committee’s idea can become any more absurd. We truly hope not…
The fifth U.S. Snack Index reveals an evolving relationship between Americans and their food, with factors such as time scarcity impacting meal preparation patterns. By 2024, traditional lines between ‘snacks’ and ‘meals’ could blur and ‘no-prep dinners’ may become the norm. The report highlights upcoming trends, including the Time Crunch Dilemma, the growing integration of snack products into meals, and the rise of the Snack Savant, who enthusiastically experiments with food.
‘To veg or not to veg’: The controversy over the vegetable status of potatoes in U.S. nutrition policy guidelines
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is considering reclassifying potatoes from vegetables to a broader category of rice, grains, and carbohydrates in the 2025 national diet guidelines. This move is raising debates among scientists and potato industry stakeholders. Critics, such as the National Potato Council’s CEO, argue that potatoes are a gateway vegetable for children and should not be downgraded due to some people’s choice to eat fries instead of rice.
France is grappling with a severe farming crisis, as national inflation has dramatically increased potato prices, affecting various potato-based products. The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) reported a nearly 23% rise in potato prices within a year. The crisis has disrupted the French supply chain, leading to a 50% hike in prices for potato processors buying potatoes from growers. Contracts between growers and manufacturers have become 36% more expensive, with no immediate relief in sight.
In Maine, potato prices may soon rise due to escalating farming costs. Farmers face higher expenses for electricity, diesel, and labor, impacting their profit margins. Despite current stable prices in grocery stores, the increased production costs, affected by supply chain issues and inflation, could eventually lead to higher prices for consumers. Maine’s potato industry, worth $247 million, is grappling with economic challenges that may affect the market.
McDonald’s, a leading global fast-food chain, has displayed its dominance by serving 70 million customers daily, exceeding the populations of countries like France, the UK, Italy, Argentina, Canada, and Poland. With over 40,275 outlets worldwide, McDonald’s has significantly outpaced its nearest competitor, Subway. In 2022, the US, the birthplace of McDonald’s, generated $9.42 billion in revenue, while international markets collectively contributed about $11.16 billion. McDonald’s success is attributed to aggressive marketing and customer engagement through the McDonald’s Rewards program.
A research team in Italy studied acrylamide levels in over 15,000 food samples and found potato-based products and coffee were the top sources of exposure to the potentially carcinogenic compound. The study also revealed that mitigation measures by the European Union have made a significant difference over time, notably decreasing contamination levels. However, it equally emphasized continuous monitoring and strict regulation to maintain these improvements and ensure public health.
Irish consumers are increasingly turning to potatoes as a staple food, driving strong retail demand and home consumption, according to the weekly potato market report issued by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA). Unprecedented rainfall and flooding have made this year’s harvest one of the most difficult on record. IFA reports that lifting progress on the European continent has been described as ‘minimal’ again this week and there is still plenty left in the ground.
This article, based on research by Stephen A. Fleming and Jenny R. Morris at Traverse Science in Illinois, challenges the negative perception of potatoes, focusing on their nutritional value and health impact. It argues that potatoes are high-quality carbohydrates, comparable to legumes and grains. The study highlights the importance of preparation methods and dietary context, showing that potatoes can contribute positively to a balanced diet and should not be excluded based on their glycemic index alone.
The National Fish and Chip Awards have announced the top 20 contenders for the Takeaway of the Year title, narrowing down from an initial 40 after a stringent evaluation process. These shops have demonstrated excellence in sustainability, product knowledge, and business practices. The winner will be revealed at the awards ceremony in London on February 28, 2024, celebrating the best of the UK’s beloved fish and chip takeaways.
The Guardian’s Nicholas Jordan taste tested Australian frozen hash browns. He crowned Birds Eye Potato Gems as the top choice for their ideal crunch and flavor. Birds Eye also offered the best value, while McCain’s Quick Cook impressed with speed. Variations in crunchiness and flavor, like the farm-scented Seasons Pride and the inedible Strong Roots, highlighted the importance of texture in frozen potato products. This taste test revealed that not all hash browns are created equal…
The Little Potato Company, North America’s leading Creamer potato company, has launched the “A Little Holiday Happiness Is…” campaign, featuring online and POS sweepstakes running until January. Angela Santiago, CEO, emphasizes the campaign’s aim to bring joy and ease to families during the festive season. Amid rising food prices, the company offers a chance to win $1,000 in groceries, with 30 winners across the U.S. and Canada. Their Little Potatoes, which are pre-washed and require no peeling or cutting, promise convenience and deliciousness for holiday meals.
Hugo Campos, roots, tubers and banana breeding lead at CGIAR, discusses the global challenge of anemia, especially in children, in a recent article published by The Des Moines Register. Highlighting the higher prevalence in low-income countries, Campos emphasizes the potential of biofortification. The International Potato Center’s development of iron-enriched potatoes aims to combat anemia. These potatoes can provide essential iron, especially in regions with high potato consumption. This innovation offers a sustainable solution to address iron deficiencies and improve global health.
Fresh potatoes have emerged as a consistent sales force in the U.S. produce sector, offering retailers vast opportunities for increased customer interaction. Data reveals that effective merchandising significantly boosts potato sales. With the highest household penetration among vegetables, purchased on average 10 times annually, potatoes enhance sales for other items too. Their contribution to the produce department ensures overall store success, making them a valuable asset for retailers.
Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Michigan have discovered that potato starch may modify the gut microbiome in bone marrow transplant patients, potentially reducing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) complications. The study, published in Nature Medicine, found that over 80% of participants safely consumed the potato starch supplement, leading to increased gut butyrate levels. This dietary intervention could enhance the success of bone marrow transplants.