Smell is an important part of snacking, study finds

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Smelling McCain’s jacket potatoes at a bus shelter…

Aroma is an essential component of the snacking experience for millennials, and many want their food products to immediately emanate the smell of their central flavors, according to a recent survey published in Bakery and Snacks. The survey included 1,000 male and female participants from the U.K., Germany, France, Spain and Poland. Food and beverage manufacturers have long known that consumers eat with all five senses. Pringles performed an experiment where they played the sound of different chips crunching for consumers. The brand determined that the sound a chip makes when broken was a strong indicator of whether it was stale or fresh. Pringles used that feedback to modify its chips’ texture, as well as its packaging and marketing campaigns, to reinforce the sound of fresh chips. Food manufacturers such as McCain Food have also leveraged product aroma in order to create multi-sensory experiences for their consumers. Continue reading

Sweden: Good potato crop expected; consumers view potatoes as healthy

Related imageAlthough some areas are more affected than others, Lars Elofson of Svensk Potatis says that generally there was not much damage to potato crops in Sweden due to the cold weather during April / May. Most of the Swedish potato production, around 40%, takes place in the southern region of Skane. According to Elofson, potatoes are of good quality and growers are at present not expecting any serious problems to show up this season. Soloist is the most common early variety planted in Sweden, followed by other popular varieties later in the season, such as Magda and Rocket. “Organic production is still growing in Sweden, and I expect that this season it will increase by 3-5%,” Lars mentions. Continue reading

Scottish potato seed exporters set to increase tonnage to Brazil and Kenya

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Scottish seed potatoes

Government representatives from Scotland and Brazil met in July to simplify the import classification requirements for seed potatoes. The game-changing meeting was organised and funded by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). Brazil produces circa 3.6m tonnes of potatoes a year according to UN figures, however in terms of productivity yields are only two thirds of what is achieved by UK growers. Rob Burns, Head of Crops Export Market Development at AHDB said: “British seed potatoes are rightly renowned across the world. Not only for high health and high quality, but also for diversity, we have a great range of varieties which thrive in a range of conditions, be it damper cooler climates such as the UK, or warmer environments.” This agreement could set the path for a significant increase in the tonnage of British seed exported to Brazil, which is likely to help increase yields for the growers that plant them.Representatives from both countries will meet again in January to finalise discussions on removing requirement for disease testing on GB seed potatoes entering Brazil. Continue reading

Embattled West Australian potato growers eye Egypt as potential new market after TPP hardship

Kon Peos stands in front of a row of potato cratesSeed potato exports to Egypt are being flagged as a new opportunity for West Australian (WA) potato producers hit by tomato potato psyllid trade restrictions. The Potato Growers Association of Western Australia was set to receive $60,000 in State Government funding, chief executive Simon Moltoni said. The money would be used to build up trade relations between the two countries. This would be met with a $40,000 contribution from the association, Mr Moltoni said. He said the potential market in Egypt was the same size as the whole WA seed potato industry and could provide huge growth potential. “The size of this market is 10,000 tonne. It is bigger than just the effect the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) has had and it will give growers an option if they choose to participate. There are three international exporters of seed potato in WA — WA Elite Seed, Southern Packers and Lake Jasper seed potatoes. Mr Moltoni said they would all be crucial to the early stages of any trade deals. More

‘A dedicated focus on kids’ the reason for Potato Corner’s global french fry success, says CEO

ABS/CBN News reports from Manila in the Philippines that Potato Corner CEO Joe Magsaysay built the french fries brand into a global franchise business with annual sales of P1 billion. The business today has more than 500 outlets in the Philippines and around the world. In a publication by the Asian Institute of Management, where he obtained a masters degree in entrepreneurship, Magsaysay shared how he, as a 25-year-old food cart pioneer, succeeded in his quest. “If you want a brand to stick, market it to kids,” Magsaysay said, adding that the current millennial customers of Potato Corner are the same children who bought his products when it started 24 years ago. “When you market to teenagers and adults, they will shift to the next big thing. But kids? No, once you get them, they’re yours for life,” he said.  Continue reading

Colorado potato crop looks good, but demand could use boost

The Colorado potato crop looks excellent, but prices are stagnant, raising hopes that the Trump administration’s much-discussed renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement will make headway in opening greater access to the Mexican market. “It’s an opportunity to see our issues addressed,” said Jim Ehrlich, executive director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, during a visit to his office in Monte Vista. “The Mexican market holds a lot of promise for us.” American potato consumption is 114 pounds per capita per year, while in Mexico that figure is only 25 pounds. The disparity is caused by a lack of supply, Ehrlich said. “They’ve kept their prices high to protect domestic producers, but we think there’s some middle ground there. We think if we could expand the supply of potatoes in Mexico, everybody would benefit,” he said. More

Organic Produce Summit: Launch of organic single wrapped microwaveable potato

Fresh Solutions Network announces that it will be launching its new Side Delights® Farmer’s Table® Organic Russet single wrapped, microwaveable potato – a line extension to the Farmer’s Table Organic potato line up.  The launch will take place at the Organic Produce Summit trade show, July 12-13, 2017 in Monterey, Calif. The sold-out exposition features 120 top producers of organic fresh fruits and vegetables, and more than 75 key retail/buying organizations will be attending. “The organic foods category continues to grow, and potatoes are a sweet spot,” said Kathleen Triou, President and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network. “Our microwaveable organic single potato will appeal to both organic shoppers and Millennials, who have become an increasingly important consumer base.”  Continue reading

US: Potandon is ‘one-stop shop for foodservice potatoes and onions’

Image result for potandonPotandon Produce LLC, which is headquartered in Idaho Falls, ID, has “the largest dedicated supply base in the industry” for potatoes and onions, “with shipping locations in all key growing areas,” according to Dick Thomas, vice president of sales and marketing. “Therefore, we can provide all of our customers with a year-round one-stop shop for all major varieties of potatoes and onions,” he told The Produce News in a June 20 interview. The company’s customer base includes retail, wholesale, and foodservice accounts, “and you need strength in all of those areas to move your crop and get the best return for your grower base,” said Stephanie Bench, director of foodservice. Potandon will be showcasing its full product line at the PMA Foodservice expo in Monterey, CA, July 30, she said. Potandon supplies its customers “52 weeks out of the year” with “availability mainly out of Idaho, so we can consolidate all of those items on a truck for you,” she added. The company has a quality assurance team “that goes to all of our facilities” in all producing areas to make sure the quality measures ups to Potandon standards, she said. More

EU launches ‘Love Potatoes’ campaign, advertising potatoes as “fat-free and easy”

Smutty ad for potatoesSpanning in-print ads, videos, and the digital reach of social media, consumers are dared to become enamored with potatoes in a more unconventional way than most industry campaigns. “Confident” spuds are depicted in a variety of situations that may equally conflict and entertain the senses. These ads are “a fun way to get younger consumers to see potatoes as a healthy source of fibre and potassium, as well as being naturally fat-free and easy to cook,” Rob Clayton, U.K.’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development (AHDB) Board Potato Strategy Director, said. The campaign is equally funded by an EU grant and the Potato Council. In a rather critical article of the campaign, the British tabloid The Sun calls the ads “smutty” and writes “the EU has spent £1.8million on promoting potatoes with a bizarre ad campaign which stars the vegetables as sex objects. One widely distributed advert shows a potato wearing sunglasses lying in bed, with the caption: ‘Looking for fat-free and easy? You just got lucky.’ Next to the potato is a book titled ’51 Shades for Spuds’ – a reference to the S&M-themed book and film 50 Shades of Grey”. The Sun article

Report: ‘Potato cartel forced Americans to pay higher prices for their fries’

Melanie WilliamsUS potato-grower cooperatives in the early 2000’s deployed drones and scanned satellite images as they colluded to reduce the amount of potatoes grown across the country in an effort to increase their profits, according to a report by California State University, Northridge business law professor Melanie Stallings Williams. “If you had a potato in the last decade or so, then you paid significantly more because of widespread collusion in the potato industry,” Williams said. “Every time you went to McDonald’s, every time you had something that had potato starch added to it, you paid more.” Williams and her colleagues published their findings in a report titled “The OPEC of Potatoes: Should Collusive Agricultural Production Restrictions Be Immune from Antitrust Law Enforcement?” in the winter 2017 edition of Virginia Law & Business Review. Their report is the result of an investigation of American potato farmers as part of an antitrust, class-action lawsuit brought by potato buyers against the United Potato Growers of America (UPGA) and the United Potato Growers of Idaho (UPGI), collectives of farmers and agricultural cooperatives that agreed to reduce the output of potatoes. The collectives settled the lawsuit in 2015 before it went to court. More

Northern Ireland: Potato supplier adds to convenience range

Potato supplier adds to convenience rangeNorthern Irish potato supplier Wilson’s Country has added sweet potato chips and baby potatoes with garlic butter to its ‘You Say Potato’ branded convenience range. The County Armagh-based firm said the new launches are part of its focus on the UK convenience market, where it is currently seeing double-digit growth. Sold in pouches, the Sweet Potato Chips are £1.50 for 350g, while the Baby Potatoes are £1 for a 450g pack. MD Lewis Cunningham said: “Consumers want convenience, when it comes to all their cooking practices. And potatoes are no different in this regard. Our You Say Potato brand is proving a substantial success for the business, and we are keen to grow sales in Britain, our most important target market.” More

Australians urged to eat more potatoes in new campaign

A push by West Australian potato growers to get their spuds back on dinner plates every day to help ease a massive glut began Saturday night with the start of a prime-time television advertising campaign named Todatoes. The campaign, to include digital and billboard advertising, encourages people to eat more potatoes, more often, by offering recipes and promoting their nutritional benefits. WA Potato Growers Association chief executive Simon Moltoni said the campaign came at a critical time for local farmers as they adjusted to a newly deregulated market and the loss of access to interstate markets after the detection in WA in February of an exotic pest called the tomato potato psyllid. The glut means WA farmers are now getting less for their potatoes than the cost of producing them. More

The new low carb potato taking New Zealand by storm

A New Zealand low-carbohydrate potato has been on the market for just three weeks, but is already proving to be a major success. T & G Global say they discovered the new variety, which has been labelled the Lotato™, by chance. “It was bred in Holland by cross pollinating two existing varieties of potatoes,” Executive General Manager Andrew Keaney said. “They were cross pollinated because they were high yielding, they had really good appearance and really good flavour. As a natural occurrence, quite by chance, it was found they were 40 per cent lower in carbs. When we compare the Lotato™, we compare with two commonly known varieties which is the Agria and the Rua potato. They weren’t specifically bred to be low carb, it was just by chance.” More

New independent chair for Potatoes South Australia

The leading representative body for the potato industry value chain, Potatoes South Australia, has appointed experienced Director and Chairman Dr Andrew MacDonald, as its new Independent Chair, at a meeting of the Association’s Board in Adelaide, yesterday. Dr MacDonald replaces Mr Brian Cunningham who has been in the role since 2013.  Mr Cunningham said that the Board was very pleased to announce Dr MacDonald’s appointment as Potatoes South Australia enters into an exciting new phase of its evolution. “We’re delighted to have someone of such a calibre, both globally and domestically, come on board to help guide Potatoes South Australia as we look to build on the momentum we have built over the last four years,” Mr Cunningham said. Dr MacDonald said he was delighted with his new role. “Potatoes South Australia has a unique opportunity to represent and drive this important sector of the state’s primary production. The Board is made up of a highly skilled group of Directors and collectively the Board recognises and looks forward to addressing the challenges in the industry going forward”.  Continue reading

Why is Bob Dylan’s face now on Chinese potato crisp bags?

News spreads fast on the Internet, and word about what appears to be Chinese potato crisp packets sporting Bob Dylan’s face could not have spread faster. Many denizens of the Internet were as confused as one would be when taking in this bizarre combination – there are eight different bag variants available, each containing what people presumed were different flavours of crisps themed around Dylan’s most famous works. But the answers were not found blowin’ in the wind (excuse the pun); they were readily available for those who dug deep enough. It turns out that the potato crisp bags do not actually house real, Frito-Lay-type goodness, but books. That’s right – there are books in those potato crisp bags. This is where the pieces of the puzzle all fall together. The potato crisp bags are actually a clever, albeit very strange marketing campaign for eight new volumes of Bob Dylan’s lyrics, which have now been translated into Mandarin. More