Fri, Nov-24-17, 19:40
Low carb potatoes anyone?
We low carbers may not be getting the medical community's attention but it looks like we are getting the food industry's attention.
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Potandon debuts low-carb potato
There have been limited entries into the low-carb potato market in the U.S., but now two major American companies are getting behind a new option being marketed as having 55 percent less carbohydrate content than rice or pasta.
The CarbSmart potato developed by Potandon Produce will be marketed in five-pound bags by Green Giant.
Director of Product Marketing and Development Carter Bray said CarbSmart has been in development for years and is aimed at multiple consumer trends, including those about health.
“It gives some people who are a little weary on the carb front permission to eat, and you’re getting good nutrition,” he said.
Aside from the ongoing popularity of low-carb and low-calorie foods, Bray said the yellow-skinned and yellow-fleshed CarbSmart also takes advantage of the popularity of colored varieties.
In addition, the popularity of at-home cooking plays into the decision of marketing the new variety in five-pound bags.
Bray said Potandon is confident that the CarbSmart can appeal to both millennials and baby boomers. Though they both think of health differently, and may require distinctive messages to reach them, millennials will be looking for healthier options as they begin having families and start cooking for the children, while baby boomers may start keeping a closer on eye on health as they age.
Until now there have been limited low-carb potato offerings, including the Canadian Carisma variety, which came out in 2016 and was marketed mostly for having a low glycemic index and therefore wouldn’t spike blood sugar.
In New Zealand, a low-carb potato variety called Lotatoes, which was released this year though it won’t see wide distribution until November, won the Primary Sector Products Award at the 2017 New Zealand Food Awards.
At home, at the annual meeting of Potatoes USA earlier this year, CEO Blair Richardson said the U.S. potato industry should stop trying to combat negative health claims against potatoes and start touting the nutritional benefits of potatoes, especially as a healthy source of energy for athletes and those with active lifestyles.
“What we see is consumers that want health and nutrition and ‘proper fuels’ (you hear that phrase) to get through their day and through their activities,” Bray said.
Potandon is also marketing CarbSmart’s other nutritional advantages, such as having plenty of potassium and vitamin C. Also, when the company debuted the new product at PMA Fresh Summit in October, Bray said there were many questions of how the company was able to reduce the carbohydrate content. He said underlying that question was interest in whether the CarbSmart is a GMO or not.
Bray said one of the reasons why it took years to bring the new product to market was because it was developed without genetic modification and needed the hard work and cooperation of breeders.
He said PMA was the first time anyone outside of the Potandon saw CarbSmart and that the company is selling it to distributors now. He said to expect more developments with the variety in the last quarter of the year.