Potato Nutrition and The Research Driving It Forward
Season 2: Episode 7
Title: Potato Nutrition and The Research Driving It Forward
In this episode, Potatoes USA Conversation Architect, Natalia Cervantes, unpacks the health benefits of America’s favorite vegetable, potatoes.
Resources for this episode:
- Latest Nutrition Research
- Retail Sales
- Real Food. Real Performance Marketing Kit.
To be featured on Potato-Cast, email Natalia@PotatoesUSA.com
Learn more about Potatoes USA by visiting PotatoesUSA.com
See all the great information available about potatoes, potato nutrition, or fun ways to cook with potatoes, visit PotatoGoodness.com.
Hello everyone! Welcome to Potato-cast. A Potatoes USA podcast full of all your favorite potato industry content.
I’m Natalia Cervantes, Potatoes USA Conversation Architect, and your host.
Food for thought. Nutrition is evolutionary, not revolutionary. Wise words from Potatoes USA Director of Nutrition and Industry Relations, Bonnie Johnson, who joined the team in July. As a registered dietitian with over 20 years of experience in the food industry, she calls herself a nutrition translator. Johnson believes in delivering credible, science-based information in a way that builds trust and respect. She is prominent among nutrition thought leaders and we are excited to have her fearless leadership guide us. Remember to subscribe to the podcast, so you don’t miss our next captivating interview with Bonnie Johnson.
Did you know that September is National Fruits and Veggies month? And that’s tuber important. If you caught my pun there, we are the same kind of different, and thanks for laughing along.
Here’s an interesting fact. Nine out of ten Americans are not eating enough vegetables. And research from the Produce for Better Health Foundation states that Americans who eat fruits and vegetables most days per week say that when they eat fruits and vegetables, they experience physical, emotional, and social benefits.
I’m calling on all of us in the industry to help amplify the message that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables. This should be easy for us since potatoes are America’s favorite vegetable and a nutritious solution that not only makes sense for the body but also for the budget. They have one of the highest scores per dollar on eight important nutrients such as potassium, fiber, protein, vitamin C and E, calcium, iron, and magnesium1.
Moreover, research shows that including potatoes as part of healthy diets can help people meet their nutrient intakes recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans2. While we know that potatoes are a nutrient-dense vegetable, they are not always recognized as such and are often miscategorized in nutrition research.
Our industry members are our greatest potato advocates, but we must also inform and inspire nutrition thought leaders to advocate for potatoes as a nutrient-dense vegetable that contains quality carbohydrates.
One impactful way to inform and inspire is through research from the Alliance for Potato Research and Education. They conduct studies to support potatoes’ role in healthy eating patterns. Another way to inform and educate nutrition thought leaders is through previous research analysis. For instance, when a nutrition researcher like Dr. David Alison reviews previously published materials and analyzes the findings based on the accurate classification of potatoes as a vegetable.
When it comes to new research developed by APRE, though, it’s no small potatoes.
Through APRE, the potato industry has funded forty-seven studies that, so far, have resulted in twenty-six published manuscripts, with more on the way this fiscal year.
What’s a manuscript, you might ask? In simple terms, it’s a detailed outline of the entire research process from the moment the researchers started thinking about it to the outcome of the whole study. This is highly labor-intensive, but the results are worth it.
For instance, plant-derived proteins have received considerable attention as an alternative to animal-based proteins and are now frequently used in both plant-based diets and sports nutrition products.
A recently published APRE study compared potato protein to milk protein. While milk protein is often considered the preferred choice for muscle growth, this study found that potato protein provides an amino acid profile that closely resembles milk protein. That makes potato protein on par with milk protein for repairing and building muscle.
How tater-tastic is that?
This type of published research helps nutrition thought leaders better understand the role potatoes play in a healthy diet.
I’m encouraging all of you in the industry to continue talking about potato nutrition, and potato nutrition research. You can find a link to the currently published research in this episode’s description.
There’s no reason not to celebrate potatoes during National Fruits and Veggies month and beyond. Here are some quick potato nutrition messages you can easily implement into your everyday conversations, include in your social media, and even use as your email signature.
- A powerhouse vegetable supplying essential nutrients needed to conquer your day.
- Nutrient-dense potatoes deliver optimal energy for all activities. Put potatoes to work.
- A nutritious addition to healthy dietary patterns.
Or you can go the classic route and use Potatoes. Real Food. Real Performance. I’ve included a link to the performance marketing kit in this episode’s description.
Speaking of potatoes and potato nutrition, the Polish Potato Federation, also known as Potato Poland, recently started its own Potato Power campaign and reached out to Potatoes USA for a deeper dive into our Potatoes Fuel Performance campaign. CEO Blair Richardson flew to Poland with Dr. Kathie Beals to discuss the nutrition research and the benefits of sharing performance messaging with consumers. They also provided the latest nutrition and health research facilitated by APRE.
Upon their return from Poland, Dr. Beals said that the presentation went well, and Potato Poland was excited to learn about the science, our messaging and marketing approach for potatoes as performance fuel.
Richardson said that his goal was to encourage international organizations to take a more aggressive and proactive approach to nutrition and reputation management. He hopes more people and organizations learn the importance of aggressively challenging those who malign potatoes and potato products unfairly because when one of us wins, we all win.
The latest numbers for fresh potato sales and total potato sales at retail are in. Here are the highlights. When comparing the fiscal year 2019 to the fiscal year 2021, volume sales for fresh potatoes are about equal, with some categories, like yellow potatoes trending higher. Looking at total grocery store potato sales, the fiscal year 2021 sales are above the fiscal year 2019 in dollars and volume.
Just a reminder that we compare to 2019 because 2020 was an abnormal year. To download both fresh and total store sales reports, please visit the Retail Sales Research section on potatoesusa.com.
Quick announcement regarding emails from Potatoes USA. We know your time is valuable and want to be as effective with the way we deliver you potato industry updates as possible. As of September, industry updates will transition to monthly instead of weekly. If you’re not signed up for our updates, you can visit PotatoesUSAUpdates.com. You’ll receive data on the latest retail sales, trends, research, market insights, and any other content that will help you make educated and calculated decisions for your operations.
This brings us to the end of our episode.
Potato-cast is growing. If you are an active member of the potato industry, we’d love to interview you about your operation. To submit yourself or your friend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be a pleasure to hear from our dedicated listeners.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Potato-cast! You can subscribe on Spotify, Apple, or Google Podcast by searching for Potato-cast. Feel free to share potato-cast with your friends and family in the industry.
All supporting documents for data provided in this episode can be found on PotatoesUSA.com. To see all the great information available about potatoes or new and fun ways to cook with potatoes, visit PotatoGoodness.com.
I am your host, Natalia Cervantes.
Until next time, have a spud-tacular day, everyone.
 Drewnowski A. New metrics of affordable nutrition: which vegetables provide most nutrients for least cost? J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Sep;113(9):1182-7.
 Maureen L. Storey, Patricia A. Anderson, Contributions of White Vegetables to Nutrient Intake: NHANES 2009–2010, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 4, Issue 3, May 2013, Pages 335S–344S, https://doi.org/10.3945/an.112.003541.