Fresh Food

Consumers on the lookout for functional foods

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Athletes are a sophisticated bunch when it comes to their understanding of healthy eating and fueling their bodies. As a result, they want foods that are nutritious and, more importantly, functional.

Functional foods are ones that offer a potentially positive effect on health outside of traditional definitions—for instance, foods that aid in digestion, are high in antioxidants or, like potatoes, aide athletic performance. According to Technomic’s 2018 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report, 67% of consumers say they would be more likely to buy foods having functional benefits and 32% would pay more for them.

The potato is just one example of a food offering functional benefits. Not only is it one of the most nutritious foods—containing as much if not more of several essential vitamins and minerals than spaghetti, brown rice or whole wheat bread compared on a per-serving basis—it’s one of the best functional foods available for athletes thanks to its nutritional profile.

How potatoes fuel athletic performance

The difference between how athletes become their best comes down to training and how they fuel their bodies. Check out how a medium, 5.3 oz skin on potato can power athletic performance:

  • 620 milligrams of potassium: Potassium is an important electrolyte that aids in muscle, cardiovascular and nervous system function during long endurance events.
  • 26 grams of complex carbohydrates: Carbohydrate is the primary fuel for the brain and a key source of energy for muscles for optimal mental and physical performance.
  • 110 calories:  More energy-packed than any other popular vegetable.  Adequate energy intake supports optimal body function.

Potatoes provide the complex carbohydrates, potassium, fiber and vitamin C needed to perform better than ever before—they fuel the body and brain throughout the day. No matter if consumers are fueling an active lifestyle or preparing for a competition with elite athletes, potatoes’ functional benefits provide what’s needed to perform. By highlighting potatoes’ nutrition in store, retailers can spread knowledge to consumers that can encourage purchases.

Potato merchandising best practices

Potato USA supports retailers through a marketing campaign to educate shoppers of the benefits potatoes provide to perform at their best. Find out how your produce program can increase sales in the potato category and across the store.  Also be sure to checkout new instore signage and point-of-sale materials that you can use at your stores at

This post is sponsored by Potatoes USA