Promotion: Potatoes USA spotlights performance athletes on website

Image result for potatoes usa athletesA new feature has launched on the PotatoGoodness.com website, designed to spotlight athletes from around the US potato industry and share how they are fueling their performance with potatoes. The series launched with spotlight features on Christie Wood, Account Director at Sterling-Rice Group, a distance runner who just completed the NYC Marathon.  She enjoys “simply prepared potatoes (boiled, baked or mashed) as both a night-before performance food and as a recovery food with her favorite protein.” It further features Bill Skinner, Seed Potato Farmer from Belgrade, Montana, also a distance runner who recently qualified for the 2018 Boston Marathon and enjoys lightly salted boiled potatoes during his long runs. Potatoes USA welcomes suggestions from the industry for additional potato-loving athletes to feature on PotatoGoodness.com. Do you know someone that could be featured? Have them fill out the athlete Q&A and reach out to Sarah Reece, Global Marketing Manager, at sarah@potatoesusa.com

McCain UK opens its own specialty ‘Roastaurant’ in London

McCain is opening the doors to its own speciality restaurant, the Roastaurant, to celebrate the diversity of one of the nation’s favourite meals. The Roastaurant will provide roast dinner lovers the choice of over 100,000 possible roast combinations as guests choose from a pick ‘n’ mix style menu. Featuring a unique ‘gravy microbrewery’ and a giant six metre squared roast potato platter filled with thousands of McCain Roasts, the Roastaurant is set to bring the ultimate roast dinner experience to London. To accommodate all roast dinner habits, whether it’s pigeon with onion rings covered in chocolate gravy, or beef brisket accompanied with a fried egg and a side of charred pineapple, the McCain Roastaurant will be dishing up a whole host of exploratory roast combinations, no matter how quirky they may be. The Roastaurant will be split into two sittings, the Full Roast and the Roasts and Gravy. It will open its doors on Friday 8 and Sunday 10 December. Tickets can be bought online. More

Aldi’s rocketing potato sales in Wales highlights popularity of homegrown produce

Aldi’s potato sales rocket in WalesAldi’s potato sales in Wales have risen by a third since the retailer began sales of Welsh potatoes five months ago, highlighting the popularity of homegrown produce in the country. The discounter began stocking Welsh-grown potatoes in July 2017, thanks in part to a £4.8 million government support package adopted in 2015, which allowed producers to expand their production. This has helped generate a 33 per cent increase in Aldi’s potato sales, and the supermarket has ordered an additional 11,000 tonnes of Welsh potatoes, worth around £5 million, for the 2017/18 season. Puffin Produce supplies the supermarket with Maris Piper, baking and red potatoes, which are grown in Pembrokeshire and the Wye Valley. Says Huw Thomas, managing director of Puffin Produce: “It is amazing that Aldi is able to see an immediate uplift of 33 per cent within their potato category in Wales by providing a Welsh offering. “It really does show the fierce loyalty of the Welsh consumer to the large Welsh flag on the bag.” More

US: Kettles’s chip bags track potatoes back to farm where they were grown

Chip Bags Track Potatoes Back To The Farm Where They Were GrownKettle Brand potato chip company has started placing Tater Tracker codes on its chip bags for customers to scan and learn about the farmers who supplied the crops for them. The code can be entered on Kettle’s website. When a customer enters the 10- to 14-digit code, they get to learn about one of the farmers who grew the ingredients for their specific bag of chips. The digital content comes with a brief biography about the farmers and an interactive 360 degree video tour of the farm. Kettle listed all of the farmers on its website for anyone to access. These farms include Allied Potato, Bula-Gieringer Farms, Burch Farms, Mortenson Bros. and others. Those interested in trying it out can purchase a bag of Kettle chips and find the code below the ‘best before’ stamp. Kettle Brand Tater Tracker (Source: psfk.com)

US: Potandon launches CarbSmart yellow potatoes

Image result for carbsmart potato potandonIdaho-based Potandon Produce introduced its low-carbohydrate CarbSmart potato at Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit show in October, said Ralph Schwartz, vice president of sales.The new item is part of Potandon’s promotional focus on potatoes as healthy items, Schwartz said. It’s the first of many that will come out that have additional health benefits,” he said of CarbSmart. The product has 55% fewer carbohydrates than rice or pasta, Schwartz said. When you look at this potato, it has 7 grams less carbs per serving than a regular yellow potato. We’ve been testing it for years. It’s exciting.” More

How Frito-Lay is making its products healthier

Indian Tikka Masala, Yorkshire Pudding and Salmon Teriyaki Lay's potato chips“Somebody was telling me the other day that we have over 3,000 flavors in what we call our flavor bank,” said Christine J. Cioffe, Ph.D., senior vice-president, Sustainability and Global Snacks R.&D. at PepsiCo, Inc., parent company of Frito-Lay. “I think it speaks to the power of a company that operates across 200-plus countries.” Flavor, Dr. Cioffe said, is a “stronghold” for Frito-Lay. “It’s definitely a capability that R.&D. has built and strengthened over the last decade or so,” she added. “Flavor is going to continue to be an opportunity.” Meanwhile, the product development team at PepsiCo is focused on making its snacks healthier. The company has committed to limiting sodium and saturated fat while adding whole grains, vegetables and protein, said Elizabeth Roark, registered dietitian and principal scientist, PepsiCo Nutrition Services. In its Performance with Purpose 2025 Agenda PepsiCo outlined its nutrition goals. More

US: Promoting potatoes as “athletic fuel”

Image result for potatoes athletesRecently, Potatoes USA received approval to spend money toward research with the goal of launching more proactive campaigns around potato nutrition. Instead of reactively combating negative health claims against potatoes, Potatoes USA will more actively promote potatoes as part of an active lifestyle, including for high-performance athletes. When he unrolled this strategy earlier this year, Potatoes USA President Blair Richardson said this will supplement current marketing efforts but not replace them. The research isn’t finished yet, but the group is already taking steps toward this goal of promoting potatoes as athletic fuel. “We are not going to be on our heels, we are going to be on our toes,” said Kim Breshears, director of marketing programs for Potatoes USA to the recent BIG Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting on Nov. 14. More

Australia’s ‘Spud King’ giving away free potatoes across Perth

Perth’s spud king Tony Galati will be giving away 200 tonnes of potatoes this weekend. Mr Galati says it is his way of thanking Perth families for their support over the potato deregulation decision. “We’re gonna give away 100 tonnes of spuds each day – 100 tonnes on Saturday and 100 tonnes on Sunday,” he said. For 20 years, Perth’s potato rebel fought against strict controls on the growing and selling of potatoes, and this time last year the war was won. “Any grower can grow potatoes, they can grow what varieties they want,” Mr Galati said. “They can grow them when they want and sell them to whoever they want so the market is completely freed. On a standard Saturday the Jandakot Spudshed store gets around 6000 customers through the doors – but that number is expected to double for the free spud giveaway. More

UK: Branston’s Italian spuds return to Tesco

Branston's Italian spuds return to TescoBranston’s Italian new potatoes are back in Tesco stores for a seventh season. The spuds, grown in the Puglia region by Giuseppe Distaso, are being sold in 400 Tesco stores for five weeks. They represent the final seasonal new potato of the calendar year. Branston is suppliying more than 300 tonnes of the crop to Tesco, with shoppers able to purchase loose or in a 750g bag. “Our research shows that shoppers engage with new-season potatoes as they appreciate their fluffy skins and fresh taste,” said George Christoudias, sales and marketing director at Branston. “In season from late October, new potatoes from Italy are a highlight in the seasonal calendar. Renowned for their creamy texture, Italian potatoes are a new potato that will bring back memories of summertime with their light flavour.” More

Meet the makers of Idaho’s biggest potatoes

Chris and Sharolyn Schofield in front of the giant potato they built for the Idaho Potato Commission’s Great Big Idaho Potato Truck. The Weiser, Idaho, couple is building a replacement potato for the truck.   Chris and Sharolyn Schofield have carved a unique niche in the art world — making colossal sculptures of Idaho Russet Burbank potatoes. Though the Weiser couple has thus far avoided the spotlight, their creations are recognized nationwide. Tens of thousands of onlookers witness the dropping of their giant, glowing potato in downtown Boise each New Year’s Eve. And the 6-ton spud they created for the Idaho Potato Commission’s Great Big Idaho Potato Truck has traveled about 150,000 miles, visiting 7,200 cities while promoting the Idaho brand. The Schofields — founders of Schofield Design — are building their fourth giant potato. It is a replacement for the IPC’s original oversized traveling tuber. The IPC introduced the truck in 2011 to celebrate its 75th anniversary, planning on a single tour but keeping it on the road ever since, based on its popularity. More

Canada: Prince Edward Island Potato Board unveils new TV ad

Image result for CA: Prince Edward Island Potato Board unveils new TV adThe P.E.I. Potato Board has unveiled it’s new advertisement which will play on TV and online. Greg Donald, general manager of the board, said the video advertisement is something the board has considered for a long time, and now it can showcase P.E.I. potatoes to the world. “The potato industry is an important part of P.E.I. and who we are — it’s an important part of the economy, our culture our scenery,” Donald said. “There’s fewer people that are involved in the industry, there’s fewer people involved in agriculture. We want to take every opportunity we can to engage with those who aren’t involved in the industry.” Donald said the advertisement will run locally on CBC News: Compass and throughout the Atlantic region, on Hockey Night in Canada and online. More

Western Australia’s potato growers told to accept $650,000 deal

Perth's 'spud king' Tony Galati. Picture: Ian MunroThe decades-long spud war in Western Australia could soon draw to a close after the Potato Growers Association advised its members to accept a $650,000 reimbursement deal from the state government. The government sent a letter to 74 potato growers in August offering to return to them more than $650,000 – comprised of $484,316 in Potato Marketing Corporation funds recovered from a legal trust and $200,000 in costs paid by Galati Nominees. The defunct industry regulator had launched civil action on behalf of growers against Perth’s “Spud King” Tony Galati in 2015, accusing him of growing more potatoes than allowed under WWII-era legislation. But the action was dropped by WA’s new Labor government after the industry was deregulated last December. More

Idaho Potato Commission keeps campaigns coming

Every year, the Idaho Potato Commission, Eagle, promotes Idaho potatoes as a premium quality product and reminds shoppers to look for the “Grown in Idaho” seal every time they purchase potatoes — fresh, frozen or dehydrated. “We accomplish this through national television commercials, an impactful yearlong public relations campaign, strategic foodservice and retail programs and engaging social media posts,” said Frank Muir, president and CEO of the commission. “I’d be remiss to not include the Big Idaho Potato Truck, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the New Year’s Eve Potato Drop and our partnership with Heather Cox, NBC sideline reporter for the NFL. These programs, sponsorships and partnerships generate tremendous publicity for the Idaho potato brand in the U.S. and abroad.” More

US fresh produce company unveils its first low-carb potato

Potandon Produce has released a new CarbSmart potato, developed with lower carbohydrate levels. Officials say the product is an example of new choices in the fresh category helping to strengthen fresh-potato sales. Potandon Produce has released a new potato variety making a counter-intuitive marketing claim for a starchy vegetable. Officials say the product is an example of new choices in the fresh category helping to strengthen fresh potato sales. The Idaho Falls-based company unveiled its first low-carbohydrate potato Oct. 19 during the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit convention in New Orleans. Potandon boasts its CarbSmart potato has 55 percent fewer carbohydrates than rice or pasta. Ralph Schwartz, the company’s vice president of sales, marketing and innovation, believes the product will continue a recent trend of convenient, colorful and innovative specialty products strengthening sales in the long-stagnant fresh potato category. “We’ve been working on it for several years,” Schwartz said, explaining this is the pilot for what could become a broader line of potatoes bred for specific health attributes. More

Lasering text on fresh produce becoming more popular in Belgium

During the Empack 2017 in Mechelen, Belgium, the company Presa presented various packing and coding machines that can be applied in the fresh produce sector. One machine gaining popularity that’s used by a company in Overijse is the Solaris laser machine for potatoes, fruit and vegetables. Using a CO2 laser, the machine brands fresh products with a text or logo of your choice. During the fair, Sofie Vandereycken presents the starter model eMark Eco of the laser-marking system at Presa’s stand. According to her, the technique is gradually emerging in Belgium. “In the Netherlands, but internationally as well, it’s already a bit bigger,” Sofie says. “Using a CO2 laser technique, the machines can brand the peel of fruit or vegetables with a logo or text. It’s not just possible for thicker peels, such as melon or avocado.” More