Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Packaging of Potatoes ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: Packaging of Potatoes
Category: Science > Agriculture and Farming
Asked by: sezmay-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 01 May 2006 18:08 PDT
Expires: 31 May 2006 18:08 PDT
Question ID: 724541
In the past potatoes were sold in paper bags. Today, potatoes are
mainly sold in bags that have a lot of printing on them. Why is this?
Subject: Re: Packaging of Potatoes
Answered By: czh-ga on 02 May 2006 17:02 PDT
Hello sezmay-ga,

I decided to answer your question because I had been working on a
question about the potato industry so a lot of the information about
it was still fresh in my mind.

The question you ask has been researched and studied by various
organizations dedicated to promoting the continued consumption of
fresh potatoes. Marketers are concerned because the in-home
consumption of fresh potatoes has been declining although the potato
is still one of the most popular vegetables.

I?ve collected some lenthy research reports for you that you can study
at your leisure. The main findings are that the consumer needs to be
enticed in new ways to buy more fresh potatoes.

There has been a trend in developing new types of potatoes and getting
the consumer to buy them. New types of packaging are part of the
initiatives to accomplish this. Using printed bags gives the vendor
the chance to provide information to the consumer. This information
may include product description that includes a branding message as
well as recipes or use suggestions. These may be enhanced with
photographs to illustrate the product and its table use.

In addition to the packaging graphics, there have also been new
developments in the type of plastics used, options between transparent
and opaque plastics and new types of bag closures.

So, the simple answer to your question is that the purpose of the new
designs of potato bags is to sell more potatoes. How and why a
particular type of bag accomplishes that is the subject of continuing
study and research.


~ czh ~
Originality rewarded at Potato 2005

The incentive prize went to the Belgian company Michon Packaging. They
sent in M-pack, their new table potato packaging, which is a world
first. The material breathes, is light and strong and can be imprinted
with various colours, resulting in improved consumer information on
the bag, and recipes, for example. In addition, the consumer can see
the potatoes through the gauze. A vertical filling machine can process
sixty 2.5 kg bags per minute using M-pack material. The product is
fully recyclable because it is made entirely from one material. Not
only is this good news for the environment, but it also means that
less eco tax will be due. This packaging will also be available as
bioplastic in the near future.

Re-Inventing The Potato Tool-Kit
(See pages 23 and 45 for special information about packaging and merchandising.)

The Need for Change
Challenges and Opportunities In the Fresh Potato Market

Major Challenge Facing the Industry Today

1) The fresh potato core consumer has been the traditional family;
U.S. population demographics are shifting away from this base.

2) Current fresh potato offerings do not entice several important,
rapidly growing and affluent consumer segments.
3) Understanding and responding to the need for change in fresh potato
marketing requires new thinking, development of new offerings and
changes in a very tradition-bound industry.

To reach these more affluent consumers the industry must offer
products that meet their needs and desires. The Potato Board has
conducted research to learn what these consumers want; they told us
they want more choice, higher quality and value-added products and
that they were willing to pay more to get them. The industry can meet
these needs by expanding its offerings, improving quality, developing
new package sizes designed for one- and two-person households and
delivering the value proposition of higher quality products via
packaging to more affluent consumers.

United States Potato Board

Research Study on Packaging Whole Potatoes
Summary and Conclusions -- Packaging

National Potato Council

United Potato Growers of America

Potato Research and Promotion Plan

Potatoes: Background

potato marketing OR packaging
fresh OR table OR tablestock potato marketing OR packaging OR bags
Subject: Re: Packaging of Potatoes
From: vishal0009-ga on 02 May 2006 00:00 PDT
Just Advertisement..
Wht else can it be for???
Subject: Re: Packaging of Potatoes
From: myoarin-ga on 02 May 2006 07:25 PDT
People and the sellers of potatoes have become more savvy.  It used to
be that spuds were just spuds:  big, smaller, maybe Idaho ones for
baking.  In recent years and in some places, they are being sold by
the name of the variety, and cooking articles proclaim the virtues of
them for different use.  My Sunday newspaper yesterday had a double
spread on the subject.
So, they need to be identified for marketing  - advertising, if you will.
Subject: Re: Packaging of Potatoes
From: ponder852-ga on 02 May 2006 08:22 PDT
You may need to clarify your question or give more detail.

I suspect the answer may lie with this statement. "Potatoes should
always be stored in a dark place."

Paper bags (and potatoe sacks), with or without printing, block out
light from the potatoes. The thicker the bag the less light will

Many marketers now pack retail quantities of potatoes in plastic bags
and probably put a lot of colour and advertising to reduce the amount
of light compared to the plastic bags used to pack other fresh
produce, which are usually clear plastic. They usually also put holes
in the plastic to allow the potatoes to air, not sweat, in the bag.

The point about potatoes and light is that
"When potatoes are exposed to either artificial or natural light, they
develop a green colour and can become unsuitable for consumption.
Greening can develop at any stage - on the farm, in the washing shed,
in the retail outlet or in the home. Greening is due to the presence
of chlorophyll within the potato. Potatoes also contain an alkaloid
called solanine. When exposed to light, the solanine level will rise,
making the potato harmful to health if consumed in large quantities."
(Quote from

See also

Does this answer your question?

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy