Somehow the term "Comfort Food" has always had a somewhat negative
connotation to me. Personally, I associate "Comfort Food" with
people who are (over)eating because they are feeling bad and
in general with high calorie food.
To get a more objective perspective on the the term "Comfort
Food" I googled it and learned that the term was originally
entered in the Merriam Webster dictionary in 1977 and the description
is “food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic
or sentimental appeal .......”
is also the
entry, especially the lists of typical comfort foods by
country. Indeed, a strong cultural influence. A distinctively
Canadian comfort food is poutine: french fries with cheese and
OK, so maybe my view on the term comfort food was a bit on the
negative side. But let me go back to the reason I address comfort
food in today's newsletter in the first place - I have
noticed a distinct change in the use of the term “comfort food”:
Lately, Marketers of foods have taken hold of the term. Marketers
of potatoes and potato products in particular:
first time I became aware of the use of the term "comfort food
" as part of product positioning was when Kettle Chips announced
the winning flavour of their consumer driven Create-a-Chip Challenge,
“fully loaded baked potato”. An excerpt of the
“We received thousands of submissions in the Create-a-Chip Challenge
and the theme that stood out across the board this year was
comfort food,” said Carolyn Richards, Kettle Foods chief flavor
architect. “Our fans didn’t hold back, sharing recipes with
heaps of creamy, rich ingredients and bold, familiar flavors.
In the end, I couldn’t resist making the ultimate comfort food
flavor: Fully Loaded Baked Potato.”
Another example is a
news release on during "National Chip week" from the Potato
Council where French fries (UK: Chips) are labeled as "Cheer-up
Participants in this study by the Aston University’s School
of Life and Health ate french fries after being shown a video
clip designed to induce a negative mood state. Changes in mood
were measured before and after viewing the clip, and again after
eating french fries. As well as experiencing a 10 and 13 per
cent increase in calmness and cheerfulness respectively, respondents
also showed an eight per cent decrease in anxiety after eating
the fries. Dr Mike Green who led the research explained: “The
consumption of chips clearly improved respondents’ mood.
psychological data showed that participants who were feeling
down felt better after eating chips. In fact, calmness was restored
within twenty minutes.”
To convince me of any special property of the french fries,
a comparison with another food would have been a good idea,
but that is not the point here. The interesting fact is that
the Potato Council was clearly convinced that it would be beneficial
to profile french fries as "comfort food".
So what is going on?
Peter Clarke, CEO and founder of Product Ventures, a (packaging)
design firm, said it very well
in an interview in Brandweek: "... every day we seek to
understand the changing attitudes, needs and desires that are
derived from a variety of factors. What we’re seeing today is
consumer confidence has been shattered. People are skeptical
of false claims and promises, and simplicity really fills a
need on the part of the consumer...When you’re under a lot of
pressure, you have a tendency not to be as avant-garde and risk-taking
and overindulgent as you can when you’ve got a pocket full of
Simple and Comforting, that’s how we like our food these
Paul van Eijck
out the events relevant for the potato industry in our event
section. Let us know if your event is not in the list. Also,
we want to remind you that we can list your company as an exhibitor
at any of these events.
Balance for Weight in Water Assessment
This Electronic Weighing unit - which calculates Potato
Percentage Dry Matter and Specific Gravity - is one of our bestsellers.
And for a reason:
- Any weight of potatoes (up to 4 kg) can be measured
- Depth of water required is only 40cm
- Use in the QC laboratory or in the field
- Portable, simple to use and robust
now offer this digital balance in a version suitable for up
to 6 kilogram of potatoes.
Order now in the PotatoPro Webshop...
French Fries and Potato Specialties
Chips and Snacks
Dehydrated Potato Products
Other Potato Products
Ingredients for Potato Processing
Potato Supply Chain
Health and Nutrition
Energy and Environment
Maine Potato Board
The Maine Potato Board was created in 1986 by an act
of the Maine Legislature for the purpose of establishing
a cohesive framework for effective leadership within
the potato industry. The Board is an information and
advisory resource for Maine’s potato growers, dealers,
and processors, as well as the general public on all
matters relating to potatoes in Maine.
Le Caselle s.r.l.
Le Caselle SRL is an Italian manufacturer of snack
Diamond Foods, Inc.
Headquartered in Stockton, California, Diamond Foods
is the premier processor and marketer of culinary, inshell
snack and ingredient nuts, with distribution in over
80% of U.S. supermarkets. In March 2010, Diamond Foods
Pest Pros Inc.
Pest Pros Inc. is an independent crop consulting and
plant disease diagnostic lab in Plainfield, WI. since
1984. In addition to their Potato Early Dying Assay
to predict wilt potential, they now offer "Storage Potato
Disease Risk Indexing. This system uses molecular disease
diagnotics to detect background loads of rot pathogens
in non-symptomatic potatoes prior to harvest. A rating
is done to predict storage rot and assist in storage
Purac manufactures biobased ingredients for the
food industry, mainly based on lactic acid.
Ag World Support Systems (AWSS)
Ag World Support Systems provides independent quality
assessments of potatoes for processing and services
potato growers and potato processors throughout