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TUBER TALK: The power of potatoes

6 February 2018

By Stephen Farmer, Senior Marketing Consumer Manager

At BP2017, AHDB Potatoes officially launched its ‘Influence the Influencer’ campaign to the industry. The activity will begin by identifying people who talk to varied and wide-ranging audiences. Next, we will determine their knowledge on potatoes, before providing them with appropriate data, content and information which they can then use in the course of their work or pass on – in the case of doctors to their patients, food tweeters to their followers or journalists to their readers.

In December, we finished the first phase of the activity – our ‘discovery’ phase – which included interviewing stakeholders within AHDB, our partners across the potato industry, and stakeholders who don’t work within the potato industry but encounter potatoes or potato products in their day-to-day work.

We’ve also completed a large piece of research work which has focused on where potatoes and potato products are being mentioned (on social media, press articles, etc), in what context they are being mentioned and who is talking about them. This has been a fascinating piece of work to be involved in. For example, many of the topics that can take up much of our time were not reflected in consumers’ day-to-day thoughts around potatoes and potato products. When we looked at potatoes under a ‘sustainability’ banner, GMO crops were only eighth on the list, but pesticides and food waste accounted for more than 80 per cent of the mentions on social media.

The New Year will see us developing the second and third phases of activity – reducing the list of possible influencers to a list of influencers we want to work with and in what capacity.

One of the most frequently asked questions we encountered at BP2017 was ‘Who will influence the influencers?’. The answer is ‘Whoever is most appropriate and best placed to do so’. If AHDB is best placed to engage with one of those people

targeted, then of course we will, but it could be that other associations, businesses, groups or individuals associated with potatoes and potato products are better placed to do so. It could be you…!

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This article is taken from AHDB Potatoes’ Tuber Talk newsletter, to download the full edition, please click here

 

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