Idaho Potato Commission Represents Industry at 7th World Potato Congress

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EAGLE, Idaho, March 30, 2009 - Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) president and CEO Frank Muir represented the Idaho® potato industry on the international front as a speaker at the 7th World Potato Congress (WPC) in Christchurch, NZ, March 23. Muir was invited to speak to more than 400 potato industry delegates from around the world on the future of processed potato products, an important trend in our "on-the-go" world.

Muir's more than five years experience with the IPC as well as his proven success leading consumer packaged goods companies like General Mills, the R.T. French Company and ConAgra Foods, Inc., merited him the honor of speaking at the WPC for the second time - the first being in 2006 when the IPC sponsored the Congress in its hometown of Boise, ID.

"I was honored to represent Idaho at this meeting of some of the most important leaders in the international potato industry," said Frank Muir. "On this unique occasion, we had the opportunity to share our industry findings as well as learn from others' research and marketing practices in foreign markets. With potatoes an integral part of almost every diet in the world, there is an abundance of information to exchange and bring back to our constituents."

Muir's presentation showcased trends in the U.S. that are leading to the popularity of frozen, dehydrated and refrigerated potato products in the retail segment. These trends include:

  • Changing demographics, including the older population, greater ethnic diversity and smaller families;

  • The waning of cooking interests and time by the older generation as well as skills by the younger generation;

  • Prepackaged fresh produce and prepackaged meals in retail stores to meet the needs of these changing demographics;

  • Innovative new products that stimulate purchases and new usage occasions.

The 7th World Potato Congress' overall theme was "Nourishing our Future: Nutritious, Delicious, Sustainable," which is increasingly relevant in today's society of "greening" consumers. Sessions covered a gamut of topics from farming to retail and marketing in today's environmentally conscious society.

The Idaho Potato Commission is a state agency that is primarily responsible for expanding the markets for Idaho grown potatoes through advertising, promotion and research. The Commission also protects the use of the "Idaho® potato" and "Grown in Idaho®" seals, which are federally registered Certification Marks that belong to the IPC. These Marks ensure that consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho.