Vivaldi plays to a healthy audience

Scientists have published findings which show the Vivaldi potato has much lower carbohydrate content than the average potato, prompting its marketing company to ramp up claims that the spud is a healthy option.

Naturally Best, which owns the UK rights to the Vivaldi variety, commissioned the independent research which found that the potato contained 26% less carbohydrate and a third fewer calories than the industry average.

And compared with some varieties, Vivaldi contains less than half the energy.

NB is hoping the research will help boost sales of its potato to shoppers on calorie-controlled or low carbohydrate diets.

“We all know that potato consumption is declining, so we needed to do something to get people back on the ‘tatoes,” said a spokesman.

The potato is popular in the catering trade for its tastiness and is already on shelves under Sainsbury’s premium Taste the Difference range, where it retails for up to 1.99/kg, compared with 37p/kg for normal white potatoes.

Growers also earn more for the crop because it has a lower yield than other varieties.

And despite a flood of new growers, demand is still outstripping supply as growth in retail and catering sales has averaged 60% since the variety was launched in 2001.