POTATO PRODUCERS and processors should look to the growing food service sector for future marketing opportunities, said the British Potato Council.

The BPC estimates around half of the total GB potato tonnage is now used by this sector, as caterers are attracted by the versatility and potential for potatoes to deliver good profit margins.

“Consumers currently spend 34p in every pound eating out and in 20 years time, more will be spent eating out than in the home,” said the BPC‘s Kay Hogg.

Growers should understand what caterers and consumers want and try to identify niche markets for fresh and processed potatoes, she said.

“Our consumer research shows they are looking for more potato choice on menus for children‘s meals, starters and light-bite dishes.”

Suppliers should also be more proactive in working with caterers, by providing variety, storage and handling information and new ideas for using potatoes, she said.

‘The Foodservice market – an opportunity‘ report is available free to all BPC levy payers from www.potato.org.uk.