A big factor influencing potato demand in the past two decades 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,” says Richardson, according to coutry-guide.ca. He points to recent studies illustrating the nutritional value of potatoes as a big reason why.
“We’re not just saying it’s OK to eat potatoes; we’re using the research that the Alliance for Potato Research & Education (APRE) group and that we ourselves have put together… to say you should eat potatoes and not only that, you should eat more potatoes,” Richardson adds.
Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada, notes U.S. French fry exports have started to pick up in the last year or so, and that has led to line expansion at a number of American processing plants, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.
APRE is currently seeking nutrition research proposals that help to advance scientific knowledge on the role of potatoes in healthy dietary patterns and their association with various health outcomes.