Potato-based vegan milk from Canadian company debuts in China

Global Gardens Group (GGG)—parent company of vegan milk brand Veggemo—began distribution of its products in China this week. Canada-based Veggemo—which expanded its distribution to the US in February—currently has three plant-based milk flavors on the market made from a combination of vegetables including potato, cassava and pea protein. While the dairy industry has experienced a downturn in recent years, the global plant-based milk market is expected to soar to $35 billion by 2024. More

T and G announce new low carb potatoes for New Zealand

T&G has announced the launch of their new Lotatoes, which is their low carb potato they hope will capture the interest of health conscious consumers. “Grown sustainably and naturally bred on rolling farms in Pukekohe and Ohakune, Lotatoes have been bred using different varieties of potato. Lotatoes have 40% less carbs and less calories than other commonly available potato varieties (Rua and Agria) and have lower carbs and calories. More

Australia: Battling the potato myth

Battling the potato mythTaste, versatility and ease of use all rate highly for Australian consumers of potatoes. t’s the myth that potatoes are carbohydrate-loaded and that starchy vegetables aren’t healthy that’s caused the drop in consumption among Australians, according to a study by Potatoes South Australia (SA) and the University of Adelaide. The report ‘Australian consumers’ insights into potatoes – nutritional knowledge, perceptions and beliefs’ by Katie Wood, John Carragher and Robbie Davis, analysed the results of a survey of 1,200 Australians and found that one-third of those survey had decreased their consumption of potatoes in the past five years. More

US: Walmart stores to test skinny potatoes

A small product is about to get a potentially giant boost. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.—the largest retailer in the U.S.—is expected to begin testing the Skinny Potato this month, says Scott McDulin, vice president of Schmieding Produce Co. in Springdale, Ark. “I talked to [Walmart’s] category manager two weeks ago, and he loved the idea,” says McDulin, who added that the test will be in Walmart stores served by the retailer’s Dallas distribution center. The idea behind the Skinny Potato is a response to the fact that some consumers have shied away from russet potatoes while trying to cut carbs. McDulin says most russets packed in 5-pound bags are 5 to 9 ounces each. The 100-calorie Skinny Potato offers smaller portions, with 4- to 6-ounce potatoes. More

Texas A&M to make designer potatoes to increase consumption

(Source: Texas A&M AgriLife Research)The Texas A&M AgriLife Research is making designer potatoes to increase potatoes consumption. “The average consumption in the U.S. is 113 pounds per year per person. But overall potato consumption in the U.S. has generally declined somewhat.” said Dr. Creighton Miller, a potato breeder with Texas A&M AgriLife Research. Miller said the objective of the Texas A&M potato breeding program is to develop improved varieties adapted specifically to Texas environmental conditions. “So what we are doing now is developing unique varieties that have a tendency to appeal to the younger set with high income who are willing to try something different,” he said. One type is a small potato, he said, adding that within the trials he is looking for varieties with a heavy set of small potatoes. More

Potato extract shows satiety benefits for healthy women: Slendesta data

© iStockConsumption of a Kemin’s Slendesta potato protease inhibitor II one hour before breakfast may lower hunger and the desire to eat, says a new study by scientists from Kemin and Herbalife International of America. The benefits of the ingredient are reported to be related to a protein naturally found in white potatoes. The ingredient, when taken in the form of a tablet or capsule, one hour before taking a main meal, is said to enhance the body’s own release of cholecystotinin (CCK), an appetite-suppressing hormone that works by delaying the emptying of the stomach (gastric emptying) and thereby promoting the feeling of fullness. New data, published in a scientific journal, supports such claims with a 15 mg dose of the ingredient also associated with significantly higher postprandial fullness in healthy women. More

PepsiCo Greater China Region (GCR) signs strategic agreement with online retailer Alibaba

PepsicoPepsiCo Greater China Region (GCR) signed a strategic agreement with Alibaba Group, the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company. The collaboration enables PepsiCo to further enhance consumer experiences by leveraging Alibaba’s data to introduce innovative marketing initiatives, customized products and integrated omnichannel solutions. The agreement was signed at the PepsiCo Asia R&D Center in Shanghai, by Mike Spanos, PepsiCo GCR President & CEO, and Jet Jing, Vice President of Alibaba Group.  Continue reading

Britain falls out of love with the potato as carb-free diets take hold – but we still can’t get enough crisps

Potato sales have fallen by a fifth in the last ten years – with a recent dive in figures being fuelled by 'carb-free' dietsFor hundreds of years they have been a staple part of almost every British dinner. But it appears that we are finally falling out of love with the potato. Sales have fallen by a fifth in the last ten years – with a recent dive in figures being fuelled by ‘carb-free’ diets. In the last three years alone sales have dropped by almost 7 per cent, according to figures published in the annual Food Report by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Despite the fact many are shunning the great British spud in an effort to drop a few pounds, it appears that some potato-based treats just prove far too tempting to ignore as sales of chips and crisps remained steady. More

Carcinogens found in British baby food and Belgian fries

Two new surveys have found high levels of acrylamide, a known carcinogen, in UK-made baby biscuits and Belgium’s favourite fast food. Acrylamide is a compound that typically forms in food products such as potato chips, bread, biscuits, and coffee, during high-temperature processing (above 120°), including frying, baking, and roasting. According to a study commissioned by the Changing Markets Foundation, 10% of biscuits marketed to infants and children in the UK have high levels of acrylamide. In the meantime, Changing Markets and Brussels-area news service BRUZZ conducted a similar investigation last month (23 February) of Belgian fries sold in the capital. They found that 15% of the food business surveyed sell fries with high levels of acrylamide, exceeding the European benchmark of 600 µg/kg. The highest acrylamide level found in the survey was 670 µg/kg, over six times higher than the lowest at 100 µg/kg, followed by two samples at 660 and 620 µg/kg. More

Portée par les variétés, la patate a retrouvé la frite

Cultures de pommes de terreAu début des années 1990, le marché de la pomme de terre fraîche a chuté en France et les professionnels ont réfléchi à une solution pour réveiller l’intérêt des consommateurs. Avec une stratégie : que « chaque pomme de terre » puisse « s’exprimer à sa manière », selon le slogan adopté à l’époque par le Centre national interprofessionnel de la pomme de terre (CNIPT). Car une pomme de terre « fritable » va exploser si elle est cuite à la vapeur. A l’inverse, une pomme de terre spéciale vapeur fera une frite molle qui va brunir. Le CNIPT a été un moteur pour pousser les professionnels à différencier l’utilisation des différentes variétés par le conditionnement, et informer au mieux le consommateur. « Toute la filière a joué le jeu », même si on n’en est pas à un code couleur unique pour toutes les marques comme dans le lait (bleu, rouge ou vert selon le taux de matières grasses), raconte aujourd’hui Maxime Jonaczyk, directeur commercial du négociant Pomuni, et membre du CNIPT. Rapport

UK: Isle of Ely Produce ventures into fresh washed potatoes

Traditionally known for processed potatoes for the food service industry and fish and chip sector, UK company Isle of Ely Produce, have ventured into the world of fresh washed potatoes. According to Oliver Boutwood, Commercial Director at the company, “Under the Oliver brand we do boxed baker potatoes and salad potatoes.” This is not a new innovation, there are a lot of people doing it, but as our company is getting bigger we feel the need to branch out into new categories and to add value to our potatoes. Our customers are now also asking for the products.” A majority of Isle of Ely’s potatoes are sourced in the UK, but they also source from France, Israel and Spain. “We are trying to develop export markets in the Nordic countries and the Far and Middle East, such as Dubai and Singapore. We see opportunities for our products outside the UK.” More on FreshPlaza

US looks to gain back potato market share

A big factor influencing potato demand in the past decade or two has been low-carb diets that eschewed potatoes. But those negative views are changing, according to Blair Richardson, president of Potatoes USA. “The research we’ve been conducting in the last couple of years (shows) that consumer perception of the potato is actually improving quite a bit.” Richardson points to recent studies illustrating the nutritional value of potatoes as a big reason why. “The major change that we’ve made at Potatoes USA in the last year or two is we have switched from a defensive perspective to an offensive perspective,” Richardson says. “We’re not just saying it’s OK to eat potatoes; we’re using the research that the Alliance for Potato Research & Education group and that we ourselves have put together… to say you should eat potatoes and not only that, you should eat more potatoes.” Another test for U.S. producers has been fierce competition in the global french fry market, which has grown considerably in recent years. More

Fast-food potato fries come with ecological impacts

Skinny, white friesThe popularity of Russet Burbank potatoes in North America, grown to meet demand for fast-food french fries, is said to have an ecological impact because their long growing season requires lots of fertilizer and fungicides. To grow these “bulked-up” tubers, farmers are encouraged to apply excessive applications of nitrogen fertilizer – recommendations have been designed to provide easy nitrogen access to the tubers. However, the extra nitrogen fertilizer not taken up by plants in wet, late season soils can transform to nitrious oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Nitrogen fertilizer remaining in the soil also transforms to nitrate, leaching into ground water. In order to make long, skinny, white French fries, processors are paying a premium to farmers for large Russet Burbank potatoes. Farmers grow what is profitable. The white colour of Russet Burbanks and the efficiency of excising optimal numbers of lengthy fries from these tubers are just the ticket for processors seeking to meet this peculiar market. The Little Potato Company (www.littlepotatoes.com) is specializing in growing and processing small creamer potatoes. The ecological footprint of this product is much smaller than hefty potatoes for fries. More

Are Baked Lay’s potato chips really “guilt-free”? PepsiCo says so

Image result for lays potato chips nutrition factsWhat do Baked Lay’s potato chips, Simply Tostitos chips and Diet Mountain Dew have in common? They’re all “guilt-free,” according to how PepsiCo categorizes them. In reporting higher global sales Wednesday, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi reiterated that 45 percent of the company’s revenue now comes from such “guilt-free” products. The comment underscores how malleable claims about healthfulness can be, and how food makers are trying to position themselves. Even the Food and Drug Administration said last year that it is re-evaluating its guidelines for when companies can use the term “healthy” on packaging to reflect the latest science. For PepsiCo Inc., the definition of “guilt-free” is broad. Though PepsiCo Inc. doesn’t stamp its packages with the guilt-free label, the idea conveys the message of how they’re generally marketed. More

Acrylamide needs to be regulated at the source, says expert

Image result for acrylamideThe EU Commission announced it was going to set maximum acrylamide levels in food last week (Thursday 9), but how can the chemical be managed? Food Navigator spoke to expert Gregor McCombie from Kantonales Labor Zurich, to find out how the industry could reduce their toxicity levels. Kantonales Labor Zurich is a laboratory dedicated to food safety and legislation. McCombie says that setting legal limits for acrylamide is problematic and instead the industry should be regulating reducing sugars for potatoes intended for (deep) frying or roasting as a more effective and easier to enforce method, than reducing acrylamide in final products. “Just considering legal limits on acrylamide in final products is problematic, as limits would need to be high in order to prevent a quasi-ban on certain foods. However, a high limit also equates to an approval up to that level, which will invariably be too high for a carcinogenic substance like acrylamide”. Similarly, McCombie says that the government has underestimated home-cooking, which cannot be regulated, and regulating cooking processes in restaurants is “impractical,” he says. Instead, McCombie suggests regulation at the source as being the most logical answer, urging the food industry to use potato varieties with low reducing sugars and storing them correctly. More

Europe, Canada: Could GM potatoes be headed to Europe via CETA?

Could genetically modified potatoes soon be exported to Europe courtesy of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)? The Government of Canada has stated, „CETA will not only open new markets [for Canada in Europe] for raw ingredients, it will open up new markets for the food processing and beverage industry.“ For example, Global Affairs Canada boasts that under CETA EU tariffs would be eliminated on potatoes and frozen potato products, such as french fries. Now, the Canadian Press reports, „Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have approved a genetically engineered potato for sale, said a U.S.-based company on [March 21] in announcing that its non-browning spuds could be in Canadian supermarkets by Thanksgiving. The article highlights, „The potatoes could be grown in Canada this season and be in stores by the fall.“ More. Original article

Canada, US: Chips gone wild

In the summer of 2015, Peter and Chris Neal were in the heart of barbecue country – Texas – talking about a distinctly Canadian dry-rub: Montreal steak spice. The co-founders of Toronto-based Neal Brothers Foods were meeting with executives at Whole Foods’ head office in Austin, arranging an exclusive deal that would see Neal Brothers’ kettle-style, non-GMO chips sold in more than 300 Whole Foods in the United States. “We asked if there was [a flavour] they were looking for and one of the guys said, ‘I would love Montreal steak spice,” recalls Peter Neal. “I said, ‘Really? Is that a thing?’” So I called friends and family in the U.S., put something on Facebook and got an overwhelming response from people saying, ‘Yeah, we’ve got Montreal steak spice in our cabinet.’” Fast-forward to September 2016 when Montreal Steak Spice did indeed become a thing, joining Neal Brothers’ lineup of unique chip flavours, including Maple Bacon; Srirachup, a mix of ketchup and sriracha; Sweet & Smoky BBQ; Pink Himalayan Salt; and Vij’s Delhi-Licious, made with a garam masala spice blend. More

The Debunker: Are Most Nutrients in a Potato Really Found in the Skin?

potatooooGreat news, everyone – the Idaho Potato Commission has named February as its official Potato Lovers’ Month! In the commission’s own words, this is a time to “explore Idaho® Potato versatility from a different and exciting angle.” Some of us in the other forty-nine states sadly don’t get to take all of Potato Lovers’ Month off work, like they probably do in Idaho, but we can celebrate in other ways. For example, we’ve asked Jeopardy!‘s Ken Jennings, who lives in an Idaho-adjacent state, to correct any morsels of our potato knowledge that might be a little half-baked… More

McCain: What to expect from casual dining in 2017

In the casual dining sector, it can sometimes seem like new trends come and go in the blink of an eye. One week will see operators swapping sharing platters for small plates, and the next week trading in plates for bowls. However, the fast paced nature of Casual Dining is what we think makes the sector so exciting, with the influx of new culinary concepts and cuisines helping to keep consumers interested in what operators have to offer. Ahead of this year’s Casual Dining Show, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the directions the sector is set to head in during 2017. Take a look at our predictions, and head to our Casual Dining Show section to read more about what we’re doing at this February’s show. One of the year’s biggest upcoming trends will see chefs fine-tuning their skills, focusing in on the ingredients, flavours, and cooking methods of specific regions. This stems from a wider effort to “refresh” cuisines – like Italian, Indian or Mexican – that are now familiar to consumers, and find offerings from these countries that may until now have been overlooked. More

Sweet potato demand soars in Europe

Sweet potato demand soars in EuropeEurope’s appetite for US sweet potatoes is continuing to grow, according to statistics released by the American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute (ASPMI). he European market imported record volumes again during 2016, and new research shows a sharp increase in awareness and purchases of US-grown sweet potatoes as a result of promotional efforts spearheaded by the ASPMI. Thanks to an extensive media campaign on the superior taste and nutrition of American sweet potatoes, sided with product demonstrations and retailer support, European consumers are showing overwhelming interest in the product. Surveys of European consumers show awareness of US sweet potatoes increased from 14 per cent in 2014 to 42 per cent in 2016, and those that specifically purchase US sweet potatoes grew from 10 per cent to 52 per cent in the same period. More

Chef: Taste can play key role in potato marketing

Chef and Oregon Potato Commission public member Leif Benson serves toppings at the Washington-Oregon Potato Conference Jan. 25 in Kennewick, Wash. Benson is exploring ways to market the taste of potatoes.Quick: Describe the taste of a potato. But there’s a catch. Don’t use the word “potato” while describing it. “It’s a tricky thing,” said Leif Benson, retired Portland chef and a public member of the Oregon Potato Commission, “Potatoes have a very complex flavor. It’s not an easy thing to pin down.” Benson would like to see the industry consider the taste of a potato more. He provided an update on his efforts during the recent Washington-Oregon Potato Conference in Kennewick, Wash. The commission began offering a taste award in 2012. Every December, Benson brings in 20 chefs to conduct a sensory evaluation of 40 to 50 different potato samples. The chefs judge the potatoes for taste, texture, aroma and appearance. “Every year we do this, the chefs are completely amazed at how differently these potatoes taste, depending on variety and where they’re grown,” Benson said. All potatoes are prepared at the same time, boiled or baked depending on the best way to bring out their flavor. Capital Press

‘Don’t blame the spud!’: Nutritionist speaks up in defence of the potato

Put down the fries: Ms Shaw said the problem is with the way the potatoes are cooked, not the potatoes themselves (stock photo)When it comes to weight gain, many people put the blame for extra kilograms on carbohydrates. Going gluten free has become popular in recent years, with the focus initially on cutting out pasta, rice and bread. When that doesn’t work, many cut out potatoes as well, according to Australian sports nutritionist Abby Shaw. Ms Shaw wrote in Nine Coach that many of her clients cut out carbs and then come to her saying they’re not losing any weight. ‘Sorry to burst your bubble, but it is probably not the potato that made you gain the extra few kilograms,’ she said. ‘My guess is it is what you are putting on the potato, or maybe how you are cooking the potato, or that the potato in fact been turned into french fries. Please don’t blame the spud!’ The nutritionist said that the way you consume potatoes is the most important thing. So out with the chips and fried potato, in with having them whole and baked. ‘[Whole potatoes] contain 10 percent or more of the recommended dietary intake (RDI) of vitamin C, thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid and potassium,’ Ms Shaw explained. More

Australia: ‘We can’t get any’: Canberra takeaway shops battle potato scallop shortage

Owner of The Corner Takeaway at Queanbeyan, Steve Salmon. The shop has not had any potato scallops since October.A wet spring, including severe storms and floods, resulted in crop damage and harvesting delays on potato farms throughout Australia. And an unlikely result of the harsh conditions has meant Canberra is currently experiencing potato scallop shortage. And it’s proving to be quite an annoyonce for takeaway shop owners throughout the capital. “Probably a lot of them have given up,” Watson Takeaway owner Kerry Spanos sighed. “A lot of the shops are buying them frozen now. The prices have gone through the roof.” Bidfood, which supplies 80 per cent of takeaway shops in Canberra, has been without potato scallops for about two months. Sales manager Nick Moullakis explained a good quality potato scallop required a large potato – a rare commodity. “They slice the potato, then they batter it, then they blanche it, then when the customer comes in they re-fry it – that’s it,” he said. “The mashed one is like the McCains product which is popular in places like food courts. They had their time in the ’80s and ’90s and it’s not very popular.” More

Potato specialty snack products to retain dominance in Qatar and GCC countries

The market for snack products in Qatar and other GCC countries features a vast set of growth opportunities as busy lifestyles of the urban populace compel consumers to look for ready to eat food varieties on a large scale. Trends such as rising numbers of nuclear families and an increasing contribution of women in the region’s workforce are also driving the market for snack products in the region. Transparency Market Research estimates that the market will witness expansion at a remarkable pace in the next few years, rising at a 9.6% CAGR in terms of revenue and a 9% CAGR in terms of volume over the period between 2016 and 2024. In the report, the Qatar and GCC snack products market is segmented on the basis of product variety into potato specialty products, ready to eat products, nachos, and pellet fries. Of these, the segment of potato specialty products dominated the market, occupying a 46.5% share in the Qatar market and nearly 60% share in the rest of GCC market in 2015. Among the different varieties of potato specialty products available in the market, the segment of potato chips leads in terms of both revenue and volume. More

Europe: McDonald’s used a quip about eating disorders from the SKAM hit series to market french fries

McDonald’s has joined the SKAM fad in what Resumé calls a ‘jackpot’ blitz ad campign. The social media ad quotes the Norwegian hit series, which has reached such popularity outside Norway that the music rights holders complained and forced the Norwegian broadcasting company to withdraw SKAM’s international online streaming availability. In Sweden, SKAM is the most streamed show ever on the public braodcasting network SVT, according to Sveriges Radio. As of January 16, over 20 million streaming sessions had been started. The ad read, ‘Kroppen din trenger potet,’ which translates to ‘Your body needs potatoes.’ While McDonald’s uses it as an incentive to buy French fries the original quote references the eating disorder of the character Noora. More