Bord Bia is celebrating its National Potato Day with the campaign ‘It All Starts With Potatoes’.
The campaign aims to raise a toast to Ireland’s favourite, most versatile vegetable and its growers.
It focuses on the importance of the potato in the Irish household and that when it comes to creating a delicious, comforting and nourishing meal, ‘it all starts with potatoes’.
Recent Kantar Worldpanel statistics provide evidence of the ever-growing love for potatoes.
The panel found a 17% increase in potato sales since 2017. In 2020, Irish potato growers produced close to 300,000t in potato.
Mark Sheridan is the son of John Sheridan from Kilberry, Co Meath, who started growing potatoes professionally in 1967. He can attest to the growth in production.
“When my father started growing potatoes, back then, on a good day, they could harvest 10t to 12t, all of which were handpicked. Now, we are harvesting 400t per day using mechanisation,” John said.
Sector manager of fresh produce and potatoes in Bord Bia Lorcan Bourke sees the increasing potato sales of 2020, the year of the start of the pandemic, as a return to “familiar foods”.
“Prior to this, potato sales had been increasing as consumers recognise the role they can play in a healthy and balanced diet.
“As the nation embraced more outdoor activities during lockdown, we are keen to highlight the role that potatoes can play in active lifestyles.”
Chef Kwanghi Chan, this year’s National Potato Day campaign ambassador, has shared three Asian-inspired potato recipes, highlighting the versatility of the vegetable.
He said: “A lot of people don’t realise it, but potatoes are ideal to use in Asian cooking, as they carry the flavours of spices and herbs so well.”
Next to the three recipes, Bord Bia is also encouraging people to look at over 200 potato recipes available on www.potato.ie, cook a family secret’s potato recipe or an old classic to pay homage to one of Ireland’s most versatile pantry staples.