Growers of Cornish Early new potatoes are for the first time to launch a nationwide media campaign this spring.
Run under the slogan ‘Deliciously Dirty’, the marketing drive will include competitions in the press and on radio.
Campaign managers said the drive would distinguish the Cornish Early in “an increasingly crowded marketplace flooded by imports”.
Dirtiness is to be used as a theme because Cornish Earlies are sold unwashed to maintain quality, taste and freshness and to protect their delicate nature.
A brand logo for the potatoes, launched last April, will also be used in the campaign.
Angie Coombs from Cornwall Taste of the West, which is
organising the campaign, said: “The aim is to create an awareness of the difference between the very first new potatoes grown on home soil, which have all the characteristics of new potatoes
as people remember them, and imports that have probably been in storage for a while and travelled hundreds of miles.
“Consumers are becoming more conscious of seasonality and the benefits of eating truly fresh produce at its peak and in the correct season. We want people to ask for Cornish Earlies in the same way they anticipate the arrival of the first English asparagus or strawberries.”
The Cornish Early new potato is the first potato on UK shores to be harvested. The small, sweet potatoes are grown over 500 acres of land in the Penwith district in Cornwall.
The potatoes normally come into season for three weeks from the end of April. However, growers planted the first in December, earlier than normal after mild temperatures convinced them to risk the frost and plant before Christmas. These potatoes are expected to be harvested mid-April. Average yield is 3,500 tonnes over the course of the season.
Richard Clarke