TEMPTING MESSAGES and successful media coverage helped boost sales of fresh potatoes and potato products during National Chip Week, according to the British Potato Council.

The promotion was featured on primetime television and radio programmes and in over 500 national and regional newspapers.

The targeted campaign, worth £1.1 million in advertising terms, cost the BPC £50,000 and boosted sales in some outlets by as much as a third.

The intensive consumer PR campaign ran between February 16 and 22 to help sales of fresh potatoes and potato products.

Tesco, Sainsbury‘s, Safeway, Asda, Somerfield, Morrisons, Waitrose and Harrods took part and displayed the BPC‘s Love Chips logo.

All showed a sales uplift, said the BPC, with some reporting a 33% increase in fresh and processed potato sales when compared with other weeks in February.

Around 1,100 fish and chip shops took part in the promotion displaying BPC Love Chips point of sale material.

Chip sales increased during both National Chip Week and the following weeks, according to 43% of outlets.

TV stars such as ITV‘s Des and Mel featured the promotion on primetime slots, while the News of the World featured a reader offer.

The BPC estimates two million tonnes of potatoes are consumed each year, including 600,000t preparing 277 million portions of chips in fish and chip outlets.