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Mexico Health Panel Showcases U.S. Potato Nutrition



Mexico Health Panel Showcases U.S. Potato Nutrition.jpg

In a market where health and nutrition are increasingly important, Potatoes USA is using MAP funds to ensure that U.S. frozen and dehydrated potatoes are included on every consumer’s list of healthy foods. During the July 2016-June 2017 year, Potatoes USA worked through the media to tout potato nutrition information to disseminate to the public. A key event was a February 2017 health panel titled “Myths and Realities about Potatoes” that was held in Mexico City, attracting 51 attendees from 27 different media outlets. Pre-event public relations drew strong interest, resulting in requests for personalized interviews with panel members by various media with seven radio and television interviews aired. The event itself featured a panel of nutrition experts including a nutritionist, gastroenterologist, endocrinologist, and a sports physician. Each expert discussed potato nutrition from the perspective of their specialty. The media received an overview of potato nutrition and how that impacts the digestive system, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and athletes. At the end of the Health Panel, attendees tried delicious and healthy dishes made with U.S. frozen and instant mashed potatoes. Since the event, 18 stories have been released on social media and in other media outlets in Mexico City, with an estimated total reach of 2.2 million people. Obesity continues to be a major health problem in Mexico and is considered to be one of the country's most pressing health problems. This has driven demand for products that support a healthier lifestyle. Yet for many consumers, old stereotypes of potatoes as fattening empty calories continue to exist, and many consumers have not been exposed to the versatility and nutrition of U.S. potato products. By promoting ways in with U.S. potatoes fit into a healthy diet –and dispelling negative stereotypes -- Potatoes USA is helping create a positive understanding of potato nutrition and aiding U.S. export sales. The strategic approach to nutrition is also helping expand the diversity of U.S. products sold. During MY 16/17, exports of U.S. frozen and dehydrated potato products were up 3% by volume and value, reaching 154,527 metric tons worth $167 million.