Promotion/Marketing

US: COVID-19, short supplies create hot potato market

Twenty-year potato industry veteran Lance Poole of Idaho-based Eagle Eye Produce Inc. was unequivocal in using the descriptor “hot” to describe the current potato market. “I’ve only seen a ‘hot’ market like this one other time in my more than 20 years in the industry,” said the executive vice president of the Idaho Falls company. “That was in 1998-99 soon[Read More…]

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Ireland: Potato demand from retailers soars; food service takes hit

With the current coronavirus situation developing over the past week, demand across all sectors has been mixed, according to the IFA. Demand from retailers this week has soared and is reportedly as high as the Christmas period when trade normally peaks. The food service industry is experiencing a hit due to decreased footfall and closures. Meanwhile plantings continue this week across the country.

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Branston hopes for purple patch for Violet Queen potato variety

Branston, potato supplier based in the UK, is asking shoppers whether they want to see its new Violet Queen variety become a mainstay of the potato aisles as part of its launch of the eye-catching purple variety, Fruitnet reports. Violet Queen is being launched into selected Tesco stores for a limited time from this month, having been developed for its unusual colour and rich texture.

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Australian shoppers urged to eat smarter and add more potatoes to supermarket trolleys

Australians stockpiling groceries to prepare for COVID-19 are being warned against wasting food by a leading Australian authority. “International experience tells us that food becomes much more valued during these trying times, and in turn everyone should focus on reducing their food waste,” Dr Lapidge said. Potatoes South Australia is launching a five-day social media campaign telling buyers to think about alternatives to emptying supermarket shelves of dry staples like pasta and rice.

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Power of Produce 2020 report: How’s the industry doing on increasing consumption?

The percentage of U.S. consumers who eat fruits and vegetables daily has dropped noticeably in recent years, according to the new Power of Produce report. According to an article by Ashley Nickle, published in Produce Retailer, in 2018, 48% consumers reported eating fruits and/or vegetables just about every day. In 2019, the number dropped to 41%. In the most recent report, the number is 35%.

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Potatoes USA has retailers’ backs with ‘Path to Purchase’ study

Lilian Diep is a trade news writer with AndNowUKnow. She recently wrote in an article: “I’m now privy to a wealth of resources, including Kayla Dome, Global Marketing Manager of Retail for Potatoes USA. I sat down with Kayla to find out how retailers can engage with consumers to capitalize on this staple category and maximize profits.” Below is some of what Lilian found out.

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Coronavirus: Big Idaho Potato Truck tour suspended

The Big Idaho® Potato Truck tour has been temporarily suspended due to coronavirus concerns. “The safety and well-being of the Tater Team and the millions of fans we meet during our six month journey are a top priority for us,” explained Frank Muir, President & CEO, Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). “The Big Idaho® Potato Truck will be back on the road as[Read More…]

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Consumer research: Shoppers willing to buy gene-edited food if they know its benefits

The FMI Foundation in partnership with the American Seed Trade Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the Farm Foundation, today released a consumer research study measuring market potential for gene-edited products. The nationwide survey examined U.S. consumers beliefs, awareness, and understanding of gene editing in food and agriculture, and their willingness to pay for gene-edited foods as it pertains to fresh[Read More…]

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Produce exposed: Is plastic-free produce the next frontier?

“Naked produce. No, it’s not a dodgy search term (though I wouldn’t even try Googling it, just in case); it’s the next new thing in supermarket shopping,” writes Niki Bezzant in her monthly blog, Potato Chat, for Potatoes New Zealand. Niki writes in the latest issue of the blog that Countdown supermarket chain is trialling a plastic-free produce section in[Read More…]

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Potatoes USA considers effects of coronavirus on consumer behaviour

Tom Karst writes in The Packer today that the 2020 annual meeting of Potatoes USA proceeded as planned even as news was breaking that the NCAA decided to exclude fans from its annual post-season basketball tournament the coronavirus, COVID-19. Some potato marketers said that sales of dehydrated potato flakes have increased while foodservice fresh and frozen sales have dropped. Most said they don’t expect long-term changes in how people buy potatoes.

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Big Idaho Potato Truck tour starts soon

The Big Idaho Potato Truck is back for it’s ninth annual tour with the same all-female Tater Team. Students at Rolling Hills Public Charter school in Eagle got to check out the giant potato Wednesday ahead of the tour. From Boise, the truck and tater Team will travel around 35,000 miles and visit close to 100 cities over the next[Read More…]

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US: Success with dollars and volume sales at retail, but russet, red sales down

IRI data for the calendar year 2019 (January through December 2019) showed success with dollars and volume sales for total potato sales at retail, Potatoes USA reports. Total dollar sales increased by 2.2% and volume increased by 0.4%. Potato chips, frozen potatoes, refrigerated potatoes, and dehydrated potatoes increased in sales volume. Refrigerated potatoes saw a 7.0% lift in dollar sales[Read More…]

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Ireland: Second lowest acreage of potatoes planted in 2019

The area of potatoes planted in Ireland in 2019 was the second lowest on record, after 2018, which was the lowest on record. There was also a further decrease in the plantings of traditional varieties such as Kerr’s Pink and Golden Wonders. Speaking at the recent National Potato conference in Dublin IFA president Tim Cullinan said farmers continue to be the[Read More…]

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Potato industry applauds China's steps on trade pact

U.S. potato industry representatives say steps China just took to follow through on the recent phase one trade agreement mark a historic breakthrough likely to bring substantial benefits, Capital Press reports. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Feb. 25 announced that China had signed a protocol allowing importation of U.S. fresh chipping potatoes, among other[Read More…]

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US: Deal to ship Northwest-grown potatoes to China

Federal agriculture officials announced Tuesday they have reached an agreement to export U.S. potatoes to China for processing. The deal, which includes crops grown in Idaho, Washington and Oregon, is expected to add about $20 million worth of exports a year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture along with the U.S. Trade Representative announced the deal Tuesday for potatoes, which has[Read More…]

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Specialty, organic potatoes help expand sales

There’s more to the potato business than reds, whites and russets, marketers in the US say. Specialty varieties and organics are important parts of the product mix, they note. “We need to continue to explore varietals,” said Mike Hart, director of sales and marketing for Fryeburg, Maine-based Green Thumb Farms.  “When I look at the produce section as a whole and[Read More…]

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No small fry: New MountainKing merchandising program focuses on baby potatoes

As sales of baby Golds, Reds and Medley potatoes continue to climb, MountainKing is embarking on an aggressive program to provide its retail partners with turnkey, display-ready options aimed at driving sales of the smaller, pre-sized variety. “Small potatoes are under-promoted and under-merchandised,” says John Pope, MountainKing vice president of sales and marketing. “We’re working to change that narrative in[Read More…]

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Potatoes USA: Exports show strong growth

Exports of U.S. potatoes and products show strong growth through the first six months of the July 2019 – June 2020 marketing year, Potatoes USA says in a press release issued earlier today. According to the organization, exports of frozen potato products are up 11% to 551,338 metric tons valued at $643 million. Dehydrated potato exports are up 10% to[Read More…]

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Rough fall weather in the US leads to strong winter market for potatoes

Rough weather during the U.S. potato harvest last fall continues to shake up the markets well into 2020, marketers say. “Overall, the market is elevated due to several weather-related issues across the country during fall harvest,” said Rachel Atkinson-Leach, category and brand manager for Russet Potato Exchange Inc., Bancroft, Wis. Recent prices seemed to support that contention, with year-on-year prices[Read More…]

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Italian novelty products: Crunchy potatoes with zero residues

Two highly innovative Italian potato products are making their debut on the market – Zero Hero, the certified zero residue potato, and Fornatine, selected potatoes to be baked in the oven but crispy just like fried ones, FreshPlaza reports. These products have already aroused the interest of both Italian and foreign operators in the sector, as well as producers, buyers[Read More…]

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The Potato Sustainability Alliance: New organization drives sustainability in the potato sector

Key players in the U.S. and Canadian potato industries announced at Potato Expo earlier this year the creation of a new organization dedicated to sustainability in the potato sector, the Potato Sustainability Alliance.  “Ten years ago, a group of potato processors, farmers, distributors and a major restaurant chain collaborated to create the Potato Sustainability Initiative,” said Ed Schneider of Schneider[Read More…]

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Ireland: Bord Bia launches EU funded potato consumption campaign – aimed at millennials

Details of a joint initiative with promotional agencies in France and Belgium with the aim of promoting fresh potatoes among European millennials have been announced by Bord Bia today, Breifne O’Brien of AgriLand reports. Bord Bia – alongside CNIPT (France), VLAM (Belgium) and Europatat (EU Potato Trade Association) – will launch a new campaign titled: ‘Potatoes, prepare to be surprised[Read More…]

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Belgian marketer: 'We must make potatoes sexier and more popular'

Potatoes have been becoming less popular for a while now. That is a shame, thinks Geoffrey Delbaere of the Belgian company, Warnez. “It is such a versatile, sustainable, healthy product. It should be considered a superfood. That is why it is important that we not let it fall by the wayside,” Geoffrey told FreshPlaza. “We must make potatoes sexier and[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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