“SEVEN DAYS, SEVEN WAYS” POTATO TYPES PROGRAM A HIT WITH MEDIA
The United States Potato Board (USPB) recently kicked off the “Seven Days, Seven Ways” potato types program to media. Chef and spokesperson Katie Cavuto Boyle, RD, “Healthy Eats” blogger for FoodNetwork.com and previous contestant on “America’s Next Food Network Star,” helped the USPB introduce a new potato type and recipe for each day of the week.
Outreach efforts began in October with a media and influencer trip to New York City and sponsorship at a major media event, the “Editor’s Showcase Cooking and Entertaining”, which brought together 26 sponsors and 79 members of the New York City-area food media for a private networking event, allowing the USPB to have face-to-face discussions with media ranging from producers for the “Today Show” to editors from Martha Stewart Living, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping and Rachael Ray magazine.
Next, the USPB hosted a private dinner event for key media and influencers at Empellón, a trendy, upscale Mexican restaurant in New York City’s West Village. Katie Cavuto Boyle was also on-hand for this event to assist the USPB team with educating the group about the “Seven Days, Seven Ways” program and overall potato nutrition. The event brought together 13 high-caliber members of the media, representing outlets including USA Today, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Everyday Food, Weight Watchers, O, the Oprah Magazine, Self, Whole Living, Woman’s Day, Glamour, Fitness and FIRST to enjoy a seven potato types-themed menu featuring each of the seven types in a unique dish.
While in NYC, the team also secured an interview for Katie with Martha Stewart Living Radio’s “Morning Living” program on SiriusXM radio. Katie did an excellent job, delivering both potato types and potato nutrition information in the 20+ minute interview. Katie also completed an interview with Mom Talk Radio, the most downloaded parenting podcast on iTunes with approximately 500,000 listeners on 50 stations in the US.
Finally, the “Seven Days, Seven Ways” potato types press kit featuring new recipes, photography and videos was packaged and distributed to the USPB’s database of 700-plus newspaper, magazine and online contacts across the country. A ready-to-print feature release was also distributed to support the potato types program and Better Homes & Gardens potato recipe contest, a value add negotiated through the USPB’s advertising efforts.
In summary, the potato types media efforts have already paid off in spades. In addition to the NYC radio interviews, the USPB has seen results on USAToday.com, Self.com, Healthy Bites blog, FoodNetwork.com, The Martha Stewart Living “Test Kitchen” blog, Detroit News and in Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine, which included verbatim USPB potassium and vitamin C messages alongside a potato types feature in the December 2011 issue. Pending coverage also includes Cooking Light magazine and Cooking with Paula Deen magazine. In total, the potato types program has generated nearly 32 million impressions in less than two months.
USPB ONLINE ADVERTISING GETS UNDERWAY DELIVERING “LINDA” DELICIOUS POTATO RECIPES
The USPB online advertising campaign is back for the new fiscal year with a strong presence on familiar sites such as AllRecipes.com, MyRecipes.com, BHG.com (Meredith Networks), and on a new site, FoodNetwork.com. From July-September 2011, the campaign generated nearly 9.4 million impressions, delivering 30% of the total online advertising plan. The campaign performance continues to exceed industry standards with an average click through rate of 0.26% (0.16% higher than industry standards) and generating over 63,000 interactions with the Quick and Healthy potato recipes. The USPB is also participating in several custom programs, beyond the standard banner campaign, to engage “Linda” with potato recipes.
- As part of the online campaign, 25 potato recipes were integrated into BHG.com, giving “Linda” new ideas to reinvent classic potato dishes with a different potato type for dinner tonight. Working closely with USPB Consumer Public Relations initiatives, the potato recipes will aid in highlighting the “7 Days, 7 Ways with Potatoes” program. The USPB recipe collection will be live on the site, aligning with the campaign live dates (Sept-Oct 2011; March-June 2012).
- USPB is also participating in the Woman’s Day November 1 Interactive Issue which allows the USPB to extend the campaign message beyond the publication. Readers are prompted to snap a photo of the “Many Sides of Potatoes” print advertisement on their mobile devices, submit it to the appropriate location and enter a contest to win the “Essential Potato Utensils” prize package. Readers are able to opt-in to receive the USPB weekly recipe email as well as view more recipes from USPB.
USPB RELEASES REVISED POTATO NUTRITION HANDBOOK
New science about potatoes and their role in human health and nutrition is of great interest and use to the USPB, as well as the entire potato industry. That is one reason the USPB annually invests in new and continuing research.
In 2008 the USPB developed and published the “USPB Potato Nutrition Handbook” (PNH), which has become a foundational resource for many. Just in time for the American Dietetic Association’s Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, the USPB is pleased to announce the release of the 2011 edition of the PNH.
This edition still contains 62 beautiful pages of all-things-potato documentation, with in-depth nutrition research as the anchoring information. New additions include both USPB-commissioned and non-commissioned research which serve to fortify the following sections: resistant starch, antioxidant profiles, Glycemic Index, satiety and weight management, Type 2 Diabetes and Potatoes in the American Diet. The book continues to give an overview of potato history, buying and storage, potato types, and even trends in foodservice. For those looking for editorial inspiration, a calendar and a selection of potato recipes is also included.
If you use this tool on your website as a PDF, please replace the 2008 version with this one. If you would rather link, please link to http://www.potatogoodness.com/Content/pdf/PPNHandbook_Final.pdf. Please feel free to pass it along to anyone who might benefit from the information: nutritionists, doctors, nurses, foodservice professionals, media and other industry contacts.
For more information on the USPB Potato Nutrition Handbook, please contact USPB Public Relations Manager Meredith Myers at email@example.com or (303) 873-2333.
2011 Potato Nutrition Handbook.pdf
LATEST USPB RESEARCH DRAWS TREMENDOUS MEDIA ATTENTION
The USPB’s recently released research, “Potatoes are the largest and most affordable source of potassium of any vegetable or fruit,” has drawn a flurry of media attention. To-date, the NHANES research has been covered by 231 media outlets for a total of 20 million impressions to-date.
On September 27, the USPB officially announced new research which demonstrates potatoes are the largest and most affordable source of potassium of any vegetable or fruit. The USPB kicked-off the announcement with a media blitz at the American Dietetic Association’s (ADA) annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE), held September 24-27 in San Diego, CA, where the research was presented at a poster session. The annual conference represents the world’s largest gathering of food and nutrition experts – 9,000+ registered dietitians, policy makers, health-care providers, researchers and industry leaders.
During the conference, the USPB hosted a private lunch event featuring Dr. Adam Drewnowski, lead researcher on the study, for 13 highly influential media RDs at Searsucker, a very trendy new restaurant in San Diego and headed by “Top Chef’s” Brian Malarkey. The RDs in attendance represented dozens of national publications and media outlets including Health, Eating Well, WebMD.com, SELF, Parents, Family Circle, Relish, Cooking Light, Fitness, Shape, SheKnows.com, Food Network, FitTV, HealthCastle.com and a host of others.
Also while at FNCE, the USPB participated in the “What’s in Store” Supermarket RD event, a networking reception and dinner specifically targeted to supermarket registered dietitians. The team served up Crab-Filled Potato Bites while networking and sharing the new research with this important audience of approximately 30 supermarket dieticians.
On the 27th, the research was presented at a poster session during FNCE and a press release was distributed at the same day on the national wire and through EurekAlert! (an online, global news service operated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest, general scientific society). Coverage highlights resulting from the press release distribution include: UPI.com, MedicalNewsToday.com, AllHeadlineNews.com and the Sacramento Bee and substantial social media buzz. While at FNCE, the USPB also secured a meeting for Dr. Drewnowski with Food-Navigator.com, which resulted in an immediate placement on the highly-trafficked website featuring the NHANES results and potato nutrition.
The USPB team continues to target top-tier health and nutrition reporters with the new research. As a result of the launch activities and media outreach efforts, positive feedback has already been received from many members of the media:
- Jill Melton, Editor-in-Chief of Relish magazine, is interested in featuring USPB recipes on the website and, potentially, in an upcoming issue of the magazine; she also posted on their Facebook page and Tweeted
- Michelle Dudash, Media RD, requested a shipment of potato types to use in a broadcast segment on Sonoran Living
- Johanna Dwyer, contributor to Nutrition Today, is interested in working with the USPB on a journal article about potato nutrition
- Rosemary Black, food editor for Parademagazine, requested more information for an upcoming potato story
- Mary-Lee Chin, Media RD, plans to pitch a potato segment to her local broadcast contacts in Denver
- Devin Alexander, media personality, shared a segment featuring potato nutrition messages from her new show “America Now”
- Sidney Fry, RD for Cooking Light magazine, shared she has a potato feature planned for the winter issue
- Gloria Tsang, RD and Editor-in-Chief for HealthCastle.com, requested a copy of the research abstract
- Tara Gidus, Media RD, is considering a potato feature for her blog on Healthline.com
- Elisa Zied, Media RD, is interested in writing a story about potatoes for MSNBC.com
For more information on the NHANES Research, please contact USPB Public Relations Manager Meredith Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org or (303) 873-2333.
Potatoes Largest and Most Affordable Source of Potassium NHANES Abstract.pdf
NEW RESEARCH FINDS POTATO BUYERS ARE SHOPPING FOR INSPIRATION
According to the findings of a new study released by the USPB, fresh potatoes are more of a planned purchase than ever. But at the same time, this research paints the picture of a potato shopper as someone who is more prone to getting meal ideas and inspirations while shopping – and this is precisely the point where your retail customer’s potato table often disappoints.
The USPB and their research agency, Sterling Rice Group of Boulder, CO, fielded a landmark study of potato shoppers in late summer 2011. This study sought to understand how, when, and where the core consumer shops for potatoes, identifying the shopping trip types when potatoes are most likely included and assessing and prioritizing factors influencing potato purchase decisions (before and during the shopping experience) in the retailer’s produce section and beyond. The research encompassed both an extensive online quantitative study of 1,900 primary food shoppers ages 20-69, as well as more comprehensive longitudinal online ethnographies with a smaller group of participants.
“Our research found, conclusively, the greatest opportunity retailers have for increasing potato sales is to give their shoppers more suggestions and information about using potatoes once they get back home” said Kathleen Triou, the USPB’s Vice President of Domestic Marketing. “Today, more than nine out of 10 potato purchases are planned – a significant increase from research we had conducted only the year before – meaning retailers should be focusing more on ways to get potatoes on the shopping list rather than trying to create an impulse sale in the store.”
Earlier studies by the USPB had discovered the core consumer for fresh potatoes enjoys serving them to their families, and would be willing to serve them more often if given new ideas and recipes for preparing them. The latest study took this one step further, finding these consumers are more likely to enjoy shopping and admit to wandering the aisles looking for ideas and meal inspirations.
“Yet our study found this is exactly where most retailers are missing the opportunity” added Don Ladhoff, the USPB’s Retail Program Consultant. “When potato shoppers were asked to evaluate the potato table relative to other sections of the produce department, they awarded it high marks for organization and ease of shopping – but gave out the lowest scores for providing information, making them think about buying something different or giving them new ideas of how to prepare potatoes.” So at the critical moment of truth – when a shopper who wants to serve potatoes more often and tends to get her meal ideas from shopping is standing in front of the potato display – your retail customer often settles for organization over inspiration, and does little to spur the incremental consumption that, in turn, will drive increased potato purchases.
The USPB’s research also reinforced why attracting potato purchasers is so important to the retail trade. The study found when shoppers are buying potatoes, they reported spending an additional 10 minutes in the store on average versus shopping trips without a potato purchase (47 min. vs. 37 min.), and picking up twice as many items (33 vs. 17). Potato shoppers also averaged six additional shopping trips every year, and described spending over $1,500 more on groceries.
The USPB has developed a short video highlighting the key findings from this comprehensive research into potato shoppers. Potato industry members who would like more information on the study’s findings or want to learn how the USPB can help them leverage the implications with their retail customers should contact Don Ladhoff at 415-215-2448 or email@example.com.
USPB RETAIL MARKETING PROGRAM RECIEVES MAJOR INDUSTRY AWARD EIGHT YEARS RUNNING
For the eighth year running, Progressive Grocer magazine, a nationally acclaimed grocery and supermarket trade publication, has recognized the United States Potato Board’s (USPB’s) Retail Marketing Program with a 2011 “Category Captain,” award in the Fixed/Variable Produce group.c
Now in its 15th year, Progressive Grocer’s annual Category Captains awards honor the most innovative suppliers in the world of category management. This year's distinguished list included 71 Category Captains who represented fresh perimeter categories, packaged foods & beverages, frozen foods, nonfoods and general merchandise. The competition honors outstanding category management initiatives implemented in the retail grocery market over roughly the past 12 months.
WINNING AWARDS WITH OUR THREE-PRONGED APPROACH
In the United States, over half of the potatoes grown and harvested for fresh consumption are sold through the retail channel. The USPB has been working directly with food retailers for over a decade to build their potato category through our focus on three key areas: information, education and collaboration.
Information: The Foundation of All USPB Retail Programs
The USPB conducts ongoing consumer and shopper research to better understand how potatoes are perceived, purchased and consumed. In 2010, the USPB fielded major consumer studies which yielded new important insights into potato usage and barriers. During 2011, the USPB conducted a landmark potato shopper study to understand the key influencers before and during the shopping trip, and how to unlock increased purchases of fresh potatoes.
Additionally, the USPB and their retail support agency, Perishables Group, have assessed and catalogued the best practices for marketing fresh potatoes. Added to our storehouse of consumer and shopper insights, these form the core of the information powering the USPB’s Retail Programs.
The USPB also investigates potential new best practices through its Test & Learn program activity. Every year, these pilot programs recruit major food retailers to become partners with the USPB in proactively implementing promising marketing practices and measuring the impact they deliver to the fresh potato category.
Education: Putting Information into Action
The USPB’s Retail Programs put information into action, sharing our insights and best practices with the retail trade. This is accomplished most directly through the USPB’s Retail Outreach program, where face-to-face meetings are scheduled every year with key regional and national food retailers. We have met with over 70 different retail chains during recent years to share information, as well as conducted detailed business reviews, identifying opportunities and recommending actions to capitalize on them.
The USPB also publishes a bi-monthly newsletter to ensure communicating our business-building information to an even broader retail audience. Each issue of the State of the Potato Category is circulated to over 1,300 US produce executives to keep them up-to-date on emerging trends, as well as to share new insights and best practices in fresh potato marketing.
Collaboration: Bringing Everything Together
The third and final area of the USPB’s Retail Programs is working directly with food retailers to leverage the USPB’s insights and best practices through collaborative programs. The Best Practice Partner program invites selected retailers to identify a single area of their marketing mix which will deliver the largest gains in category profits. The USPB then works collaboratively with these chains and their suppliers over a nine-month period to implement the relevant best practices and closely monitor the positive impact on potato sales and profitability.
In recent months, market leaders including Walmart, Safeway and Supervalu have taken advantage of Best Practice Partner programs for building their potato category profits. Participating retailers outperformed their competitive markets by 2.6 percent to 11.7 percent during the most recent fiscal year, as reported by the Perishable Group from their FreshFacts® powered by Nielsen retail sales database.
For more information on the USPB Retail Marketing Program, please contact USPB Retail Marketing Consultant Don Ladhoff at firstname.lastname@example.org.