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International Year of Potato wins major PR award

MEDIA RELEASE
For immediate release

Friday 22 May 2009

International Year of the Potato wins major PR award

The promotional work of Potatoes New Zealand for the 2008 United Nations International Year of the Potato has been recognised in a top award.

Potatoes New Zealand won recognition at the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) awards on 20 May for their campaign to improve the nutritional profile of the potato and inspire consumption.

Ron Gall, Business Manager at Potatoes New Zealand, said that the award is further proof that Kiwis love potatoes.

“During the International Year of the Potato, we ensured New Zealanders knew that potatoes are a tasty and nutritious food. Our nationwide campaign was primarily successful because our industry members – growers, merchants and producers – got in behind it and pushed the profile of potatoes as a great, nutritious, healthy food option.”

Since the beginning of the campaign, advice to Potatoes New Zealand from retailers indicate a 20 per cent increase in sales of potatoes, which is a value of $30 million.

Potatoes New Zealand focused on generating free media coverage and inspiring others to partner with the organisation to raise the profile of the potato.

By working closely with growers, merchants and other industry partners the organisation achieved 552 media items in 2008, an average of three items every two days.

To convey the message that the potatoes was a versatile and nutritious food, Potatoes New Zealand used a range of media including partnering with TV show Food in a Minute for two weeks of potato-themed meals, launching cookbooks with Alison and Simon Holst as well as Allyson Gofton, and holding a restaurant competition – the Great Potato Challenge – to find the best potato meal.

“We’re really excited about the future of the potato. It’s the food that can feed our world because is delicious, nutritious and environmentally sustainable. It truly is a super food,” says Ron Gall.

ENDS

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