Potato marketing efforts tend to revolve around providing consumers with information about the health benefits and versatility of taters.
The U.S. Potato Board, Denver, has several campaigns in place to educate consumers, chefs and the industry.
Meredith Myers, public relations manager, said the board focuses its attention around this idea.
“The overall message of the potato board is rooted in the nutrition message,” Myers said.
On the consumer side, the board’s The Many Sides of Potatoes promotion combats the perception that potatoes are unhealthy and difficult to prepare.
“We’ve refreshed the ads for fiscal year 2014 to go head-on in battling myths and misconceptions that potatoes are fattening and that potatoes aren’t convenient,” Myers said.
Social media remains a top focus for marketers to communicate with consumers.
Myers says the potato board has several social media-based promotions scheduled.
A live holiday chat with “Hungry Girl” Lisa Lillien is planned for Dec. 11 on the USPB’s Potatoes, Taters & Spuds Facebook page.
“Lisa will be sharing her tips for holiday entertaining and answering questions,” Myers said.
In addition, the board’s Guilt Free Potato Goodness Recipe Contest is being promoted through Facebook.
Others agree social media is important.
“Through our own initiatives, we have seen the ability of our social interactions help to build two-way conversations with the public and consumers while providing us real-time opportunities to communicate our message,” said Ryan Holterhoff, director of marketing and industry affairs for the Washington State Potato Commission.
Online content often is driven by the desire to provide consumers new ideas and information on preparing potatoes in more ways at home.
“Our data shows us that recipes can be some of the most popular items we share,” Holterhoff said.
“Most of the promotional work right now is to give people new recipes and teach people about the nutritional value of potatoes,” said Jim Ehrlich, executive director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee.
Food and cooking blogs are a resource for potato marketers.
The Idaho Potato Commission recently hosted a blogging event to encourage creative potato recipes.
Don Odiorne, vice president of foodservice, thinks bloggers help lead consumers trends.
“We have a couple recipes that combine kale and potatoes on our website that both came from bloggers. And we’re only now starting to see a trend for interest in kale and potato dishes,” he said.
Kendra Mills, marketing director of the Prince Edward Island Potato Board, Charlottetown, agrees.
“I think bloggers are becoming celebrities in their own right, and we definitely keep our eye on that and connect with them on social media,” she said.