The potato re-brand – from spud to superfood

Spuds, taters, tatties… whatever you call them, potatoes have been a constant in our kitchens for many a year; always there when you’re in need of comfort, a hearty meal, a familiar friend.

And yet the potato has been having a bit of a hard time lately. Unceremoniously pushed out of the limelight by its new younger sibling, the sweet potato, the classic spud has been sadly neglected as the all-singing, all-dancing quinoa, bulgur wheat and chia parade take centre stage.

It happens to the best of brands. One minute consumers can’t get enough of you and the next, without having put a single step wrong, you find yourself overtaken by alluring newcomers. They re-position you, show up your flaws and before you know it your fortunes have changed.

Such is the fate of the potato. With the new wave of healthy living sweeping across the nation, the potato suddenly has a heap of accusations at its feet; empty of nutritional value, a source of dreaded carbohydrates, a little bit, well, boring…

But it looks like the spud is going to take a stand. The new Love Potatoes campaign, funded by British and Irish farmers, celebrates the humble potato as ‘more than a bit on the side’. Re-positioning the potato in line with what consumers are looking for today, the campaign highlights all of its inherent virtues; quick, versatile, easy and, most importantly, nutritious. It even casts Ella Mills (Deliciously Ella) as the new face of brand potato.

Having fuelled the industrial revolution in the 19th century we have a lot to thank the potato for. Back in its heyday it was an affordable source of calories and nutrients that workers could easily grow in their own backyards. A hot baked potato in your pocket and you were ready to face the day…

Will the potato return to glory again? It might never be as exciting as the next new super grain, but this is a brand that’s determined to demonstrate it is as relevant now as when it arrived in Elizabethan England from the New World.

So if you’re wondering what to cook for dinner tonight, why not give the good old potato another chance?

Kate Sheerin

10.10.16