The promotion campaign for potatoes appears to have reversed the slide in potato consumption.
At this week’s national potato conference, Lorcan Bourke of Bord Bia said demand in 2022 was just under 220,000t. If the historic consumption slide had continued, it had been estimated that demand this year might have been below 100,000t.
The promotional campaign primarily targeted at millennial consumers who had opted away from potatoes.
However, recent research indicated that this group is now more actively purchasing potatoes. This is being put down to the targeted social media campaign, in conjunction with a very broad range or recipes on Bord Bia’s website.
The promotional campaign has been running for a number of years now and Bourke told the conference that demand for potatoes had improved substantially during COVID-19 restrictions, having been close to 240,000t annually versus just under 210,000t in 2019.
Consumption fell back in 2022 but at just under 220,000t, it is still 10,000t higher than in 2019. Various presenters suggested that this may hold or increase further due to the tightening food budgets and hybrid working.
Potato demand is being helped by efforts to encourage the use of native potatoes in local family-owned chippers.
A Bord Bia survey found that consumers were very surprised to learn that their chips were mainly made from imported potatoes and over two-thirds said they would seek out chippers that used Irish product.