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'Potatoes of the World'

Canada: More to potato varieties than just colour

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of the apple industry, where consumers are much more brand focused and recognise apples by variety and not just by colour, Canadian potato company EarthFreshFoods has been trialing a project called 'Potatoes of the World' at Sobey's and Longos (Ontario) and is hoping to show consumers that there is more to a variety than just its colour.

"When customers go shopping and they decide to buy a red potato, yellow potato, white potato or russet, but what we are trying to do, just like they do in the world of apples, is to introduce potatoes to customers by their names. For example, when someone goes to buy an apple, they don't just buy a green apple, they buy a Granny Smith or not just a red apple, but a macintosh, gala or a honeycrisp." explains Stephanie Cutaia, Marketing Manager of Earth Fresh Foods.

The selected varieties originate from Holland, Germany and France. Each new discovery is brought back to Canada where the company grows the potatoes for several years, nurturing them in the climates and soils that suit them best.

"We specialise in exclusive and unique varieties. The president of the company travels the world to find new varieties and that is how we feel we can differentiate themselves from our competitors."

The potatoes are packed in 3 lb paper stand up bags with a handle. There is a creative briefing on the front of the bags, featuring lifestyle imagery, with the variety name printed clearly on the front. The story of why the company picked the variety, what it is best used for is included on the back for the consumer to read.

"We wanted to do something different. We chose paper because it is naturally light blocking, which is especially important for potatoes which are exposed to so much florescent lighting in the stores. It blocks premature greening, which happens almost immediately once on the shelves. We feel that the stand up paper bag gives a premium feel so the consumer feels like they are getting something special. The smaller size is especially handy because the idea behind the new varieties is to encourage people to try them and they are hesitant to buy a huge bag of something they are not yet familiar with. It's bright and colourful and it has been well received." said Cutaia.

The company plans on profiling their new potato campaign at this year's CPMA in Calgary.

"We are all about innovation right now. We have listened to what people want and have learned that marketing a potato is about teaching people about how to cook it. Not everyone knows that a Russet is best for baking, that reds roast the best, or that yellow potatoes are the best for mashing. So we try to encompass this in our new packaging, it's about light blocking technology, education and variety. These three things bundle together to make potatoes of the world." concludes Cutaia.

For more information:
Stephanie Cutaia
Earth Fresh
Tel: +1 905-399-4341
Email: [email protected]