More potatoes will hit shelves from this week to meet soaring demand.
UK potato growers who have been left with surplus stock because of the closure of restaurants and fast food outlets are being given a helping hand by Tesco.
The closure of restaurants, pubs and many fast food outlets has left a major surplus of particular varieties that are made into chips, which potato growers cannot now easily sell on.
Now Tesco has teamed up with potato supplier Branston to take these potatoes that were previously destined for the catering trade.
These ‘chipping varieties’ may have some skin blemishes but are perfectly delicious. They will be sold as part of Tesco’s ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ range.
The bags will carry a sticker stating ‘I’m not looking my normal gorgeous self but I still taste great, buy me and support British farmers’.
Since March Tesco has seen increased demand for potatoes, with an average rise of 30 per cent across UK stores.
Tesco Potato Buying Manager Ben Rowbotham said:
“Taking these surplus potatoes not only helps meet the extra demand at the moment but also supports growers at a time when many are facing a real struggle to keep their businesses going.
“The varieties are mainly ones used for making chips, so while they might not look as cosmetically perfect as others they will still be delicious and excellent for pan frying, sautéing, making potato wedges and other dishes.
“These potatoes will have stickers on them to show that we are committed to supporting British farmers through difficult times.”
Each year a third of all UK-grown potatoes are destined for the crisp industry or to be turned into chips.
The products that these potatoes will be going into are:
Tesco White potatoes 2.5kg
Tesco Baking potatoes 2.5kg
Perfectly Imperfect potatoes 2.5kg
Branston Commercial Director Richard Clark said:
“We are working with Tesco to support our potato growers and ensure we honour our existing contracts with them.
“We now have the opportunity to get additional types of potatoes too,which would have otherwise been destined for chip shops and restaurants.”
The potatoes start arriving at Tesco stores this week.