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More than a bit on the side: Potatoes campaign big success

11 December 2018

Our hugely successful Potatoes: More than a Bit on the Side campaign was launched in July 2015 in conjunction with Bord Bia, with the aim of re-engaging younger consumers with the potato, demonstrating its health and nutritional virtues, as well as showing modern and contemporary ways in which they can be used to fit in with today’s busy lifestyles.

Consumption figures for fresh potatoes have shown an increase of 2.2% since the start of the campaign (Kantar WorldPanel 52 w/e August 2018), with frequency of purchase also increasing steadily over recent years. This follows on from a long term decline trend starting in the 1970s.

The campaign used a mix of traditional marketing channels, including high footfall rail commuter links particularly on digital billboard at rush hour, the peak decision making time for that internal “what’s for tea?” debate. The campaign has also tapped into the current trend of working with social media influencers, including Deliciously Ella in the first year and Camilla Thurlow from Love Island earlier this year. These are personalities that resonate well with the target audience, who are more frequently looking for information on social media channels. With them promoting the nutritious virtues of potatoes, and other foods, consumers are likely to try to follow similar diets to those people in their social media network that they can relate to and trust.

Since its launch, we have seen that consumer attitudes towards health messages that have been used as part of the campaign have increased steadily year on year, actually from a relatively high base. Through highlighting the number of recipes that offer consumers healthy and convenient solutions that are ready in under 30 minutes, we have also seen positive shifts in convenience messages as well, which ties in to consumers looking for quick and easy solutions to support their lifestyles.

Through the tracking work that we carry out after every burst of activity, we have seen that consumer attitudes towards health messages associated with potatoes have increased from the pre-campaign tracking base, with 82% of consumers agreeing that “potatoes are healthy” (from a base of 68%), three-quarters agreeing that they are an essential part of any diet (60%) and 72% agreeing that potatoes are fat-free (55%). Versatility is still a key benefit for potatoes, with 92% agreeing that they are a versatile product.

Gaining support from such high profile influencers as Deliciously Ella only goes to reinforce the positive health credentials of potatoes – they are naturally fat-free, saturated fat-free, salt-free, gluten-free, low in sugar, a source of fibre and potassium, and contribute 13% of Vitamin C to the UK diet (NDNS). We know that consumers are interested in the campaign, given that we have received 2 million visits to the site in the last 12 months, which is obviously supported by the increase in consumption figures.

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