PepsiCo’s North America Frito-Lay unit is launching the first TV campaign for its Ruffles brand of ridged potato chips in almost a decade, while extending its marketing partnerships with star basketball players. Snack foods have seen stronger sales growth in the past year as homebound consumers do more of their own cooking during the pandemic. To help maintain that sales momentum, Frito-Lay has ramped up its marketing efforts with higher-profile campaigns.
Local consumer research has shown that those who are decreasing their consumption of potatoes are concerned about health and weight loss. Those who have increased their potato consumption are interested in budget-friendly and healthy meals and are young families or young adults with no kids. So says Western Australia’s Marketing Manager, Georgia Thomas. The theme of the Autumn-Winter campaign for WA Potatoes is “back to basics”. The direction will see a selection of simple, healthy recipes developed.
EarthFresh today launched a new winter promotion highlighting their premium white potato variety – the Polar White. The company says in a press release that this white potato has an excellent taste profile and is a growing favorite throughout the US. “White potatoes are up 10% across the US, and the Northeast remains the dominant region accounting for 50% of all white potato sales nationally,” says Shilo Sammy, Director of Customer Insights at EarthFresh.
The 39th annual Southern Rocky Mountain Agricultural Conference and Trade Show started its three-day run Tuesday, Feb. 2, on Zoom and at the Ski Hi Complex in Monte Vista. John Toaspern, Potatoes USA Chief Marketing Officer, gave an overview of potato sales from March to December of last year during his 30-minute session. His report was mostly positive. Retail sales soared and continue to do so as people stayed home during the pandemic.
Wada Farms Marketing Group, headquartered in Idaho Falls, ID, is a major supplier of potatoes from both Idaho and Colorado. Rand Green writes in an article for The Produce News that in its Colorado operation, the company appears well positioned to meet customers’ anticipated needs for Colorado potatoes through the beginning of the 2021 harvest. “We have a good supply,” said Michele Peterson, head of the Colorado sales office in Monte Vista for Wada Farms.
Associated Potato Growers Inc. is one of the largest potato packing cooperatives in the Midwest, marketing yellow and red potatoes – in a variety of bag sizes – to buyers across the United States. Seventeen farmers in North Dakota and Minnesota grow potatoes for Associated Potato Growers Inc., which is the only grower-owned potato cooperative in the Red River Valley. Demand for yellow potatoes began increasing about a decade ago, said Mike Torgerson, Associated Potato Growers Inc. CEO.
In the end, 2020 was a pretty good year for Idaho’s iconic potato industry, but it sure wasn’t easy. That’s one of the main messages Idaho Potato Commission CEO Frank Muir delivered to lawmakers recently as he brought members of the House and Senate agricultural committees up to date on how the state’s spud industry fared last year. During his annual “state of the potato industry” address to Idaho legislators, Muir also spoke about the power of the Idaho potato brand and how it helps not only the spud industry but the entire state.
AHDB Potatoes will launch a new marketing campaign this February, with the amazing jacket potato at its heart. The versatility and adaptability of baked potatoes is the focal point of the latest wave of marketing activity, with Britons encouraged to extend the teatime favourite to a hot lunchtime alternative. ‘The New Packed Lunch’ campaign will run for a six-week period from 1 February 2021, using a suite of new digital adverts to gain maximum reach.
According to MountainKing’s research, represented by a combination of customer feedback and industry reports, fresh potato sales increase 21 percent with the use of high-graphic display sleeves depicting a particular meal. MountainKing’s display sleeves present images of various meal possibilities with the company’s different potato varieties. “Frankly, we weren’t surprised with the sales increase figures,” says Andreas Trettin, marketing director for MountainKing.
Now in its 16th year, the Grow Your Own Potatoes Programme (GYOP) is an AHDB educational initiative that helps children in Britain learn more about where their food comes from, how it grows and the role potatoes play in a healthy, balanced diet. Since it began, it has delivered positive messages about potatoes to more than five million primary school children nationwide. AHDB announced yesterday the programme will go ahead as planned in 2021 with the support of the potato industry.
Potatoes help support the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommendation for increased nutrient-dense vegetable consumption. Says John Toaspern, Potatoes USA Chief Marketing Officer: “It’s official: the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans have yet again confirmed the importance of eating more vegetables such as potatoes that provide potassium and vitamin C. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations focus on increased nutrient-dense vegetable consumption.
COVID-19 has “scrambled” the outlook for potato growers, said economist Bruce Huffaker, who is president of North American Potato Market News, Inc. Huffaker believes the potato market has made up a great deal of ground following the COVID-19 hit, and demand should be relatively strong looking ahead. Between April and June, global trade in french fries declined by 30%. It’s been recovering since then, Huffaker said. “One of the challenges we are seeing still is while global trade is only down 2.8%, North American exports are still running 15% behind last year’s pace,” Huffaker said.
John Toaspern, Chief Marketing Officer at Potatoes USA provides insight from this year’s Sales and Utilization study of US potatoes. “With everything that has occurred this past marketing year, it is very important for us to understand what has happened with the sales of potatoes in the US market and how the crop was utilized based on an analysis of potatoes and products sold at retail and food service and accounting for the volume of US exports and imports,” Toasperm says.
Tuber Produce USA Inc is a part of the Tuber Group of Companies which trades all kinds of fresh and frozen produce, as well as wild bird and pet feeds to clients across the globe. The company is now awaiting applications for an experienced frozen foods broker position that is available at its office in the US. The position will require a successful candidate to import and export all kinds of frozen fruits and vegetables to clients within the US.
NEPG (North-Western European Potato Growers) says it is unsure of the current potato situation and does not expect major changes in the demand side of the market in the coming weeks. NEPG says in a press release that due to the pandemic, there is hardly any demand for potatoes on the open market from the processing industry, and prices are on an extremely low level. Another large challenge is the actual sprouting threat reported by growers.
Lamb Weston has smashed the 2020 B2B Marketing Awards, taking Gold in the Best Product Launch Campaign and the highly coveted Grand Prix: Campaign of the Year for the launch of its innovative Dukes of Chippingdom in February. Up against global brands such as Nokia, Mastercard and Lenovo, and with nominees for the Grand Prix Award including Rolls-Royce, M&S Corporate Gifts and Intuit QuickBooks, Lamb Weston’s entry impressed judges with its dedication and passion.
The call for a ballot on the continuation of the potato levy is timely as AHDB seeks open, honest and robust dialogue with the industry on its new strategy, the industry body says in a news release. Potatoes sector board Interim Chair Alison Levett said she looked forward to having constructive conversations with grower and buyer levy payers about how the £5.8 million a year levy is invested to support the industry through the challenges of the next five years.
As the holiday season gets closer, demand for Wisconsin potatoes is stronger than last year. “We have a good supply of Wisconsin red and gold potatoes from this year’s crop along with an excellent supply of year-round of russet potatoes,” says Christine Lindner, marketing manager for Friesland, WI-based Alsum Farms & Produce. Lindner says the company continues to add potato acreage.
A survey conducted by the research firm Morning Consult found that 47% of families say they will cancel holiday get-togethers. What does this mean for potato sales? “We know that potatoes are the most popular side dish on the Thanksgiving table, and we don’t expect that to change,” explained Frank Muir, President & CEO, Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). “We anticipate that Idaho® potatoes will remain at the top of shoppers’ lists, regardless of the number of people at their gatherings.
A new AHDB marketing campaign to promote the benefits of the baked potato will use in-depth consumer analysis to pick the right spud selling point for each segment of the market. AHDB says it will launch the campaign in February with a budget of £150,000. It follows a £100,000 burst in the summer that promoted potatoes during the lockdown.
Idaho’s iconic potato industry suffered through a major scare due to the restrictions and shutdowns imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic. But major efforts by the industry that were coordinated by the state and national groups that represent it have helped potato producers weather that storm. And one major silver lining of the challenge is that U.S. consumers have learned how important spuds are. That was one of the main messages during the Idaho Potato Commission’s annual, “The Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting,” which was held virtually Nov. 12.
According to an article published by Blue Book Services, Canada has put a stake in the ground when it comes to exporting potatoes into the US. Blue Book says Canada trailed Minnesota and Oregon in terms of volume in 2019. However, in 2020 it has surged to the No. 4 spot by bringing in nearly 450 million more pounds of product.
Supplying McDonald’s with all their potatoes means a Canterbury grower has been able to avoid the worst effects of a Covid-19-inspired glut of overseas potatoes on the New Zealand market. Canterbury-based Hewson Farms produces around 22,000 tonnes of potatoes every year – 12,000 tonnes of which end up as McDonald’s fries. However, a 2.6 million tonne surplus of the vegetable in Europe – floods of spuds – is causing headaches for New Zealand growers and processors.
The outlook is good for high-quality crops of red and yellow potatoes from North Dakota and Minnesota, reports Sandy Lindblad Lee for Produce Business. Optimistic predictions for an excellent crop of consistent volume of Red River Valley potatoes is gratifying news for the multitude of buyers and consumers who look forward to these famous fresh spuds. This forecast is even more welcome following last season’s heavy losses in the Valley’s central and southern growing regions.
The review of the decision by Biosecurity Tasmania on fresh potato imports comes with a couple of modifications to the original decision which upset Tasmanian potato growers. Biosecurity Tasmania has also been given a slap on the wrist by Primary Industries Minister Guy Barnett for the way in which the decision was made without consultation. And the company which won the approval to bring potatoes into the state says the process to get the go ahead has been a waste of time as none wants to market the spuds.