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WA potato consumption on the rise

1399901_68395478The Potato Marketing Corporation of Western Australia (PMC) says its campaign aimed at promoting the benefits of fresh, locally grown potatos has stopped the decline in consumption of potatos in WA.

Launched in October 2013, the campaign followed independent research that found potato consumption in WA had dropped from 25 kilos/capita to less than 20 kilos/ capita from 2002 to 2012.

Local growers decided to invest in a campaign to promote fresh potatoes as great tasting, extremely versatile, convenient, and packed full of vitamins and minerals, which has now been running for 18 months with clear and tangible signs of success, says PMC.

Peter Evans, CEO of PMC, said it has stopped the decline in consumption of fresh potatoes in Western Australia.

“This is a fantastic achievement given the decline we see nationally in Australia and internationally in other developed countries. We are proud of the success of the campaign, but we still have a lot of work left to do,” Evans said.

Paul Graham, marketing manager at the PMC said despite changed trading conditions, PMC are seeing more households purchase more potatoes, more often.

“We’ve got on the front foot and promoted the benefits of our product to WA consumers and they have listened,” Graham said.

PMC has used data from independent market research agency, Fresh Logic, to monitor the performance of the campaign.

“In WA, we have turned the decline around to see a six per cent increase in volume sales over the past two years. In direct comparison, the national market has seen a 14 per cent decline in volume sales,” Graham said.

Callum McKenzie, MD of Rare, the advertising agency behind the campaign, says the potato industry has at last found its voice.

“For more than a decade the potato has been publicly attacked by low carb campaigns and campaigns for rival food products. The more often people hear a message, the more likely that message will sink in. Now we are giving the consumer the right message to listen to, we are seeing the benefit in sales.”

Other states are now calling for the campaign to be rolled out nationally including South Australia, with Robbie Davis, CEO of Potatoes South Australia, stating SA is in full support of establishing a national marketing campaign to put potatoes back on the plate.

“The fresh potato industry in Australia is huge – but is currently in decline. PMC has calculated the potential benefits of this campaign over the next eight years at $1.3B billion (at farm gate) making this a massive win for the industry,” Davis said.

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