In 2010, Eosta sold the first boxes of organic sweet potatoes from the US to Dutch organic food shops. In 2017, the product, branded with ‘Natural Branding’ laser tattoos, and coming from six countries, is sent in multiple lorries at once to large supermarket chains such as ICA in Sweden and REWE in Germany. The International Sweet Potato Week, 1 to 13 April, hopes to introduce the sweet potato to even more European countries.
On Tuesday 28 March, Eosta in Waddinxveen received an American delegation of eight journalists and civil servants from North Carolina, who will visit Germany, Denmark and Sweden in the coming eight days. They wanted to see with their own eyes how well the sweet potato is doing in Europe. In 2010, Eosta started importing the first containers of sweet potatoes from the US, in 2017 ten million organic sweet potatoes are expected to be imported each year (three million kilograms).
Orange, purple and white
By now, the range of organic import consists of four varieties: orange Covington and Beauregard, white Bushbok, and a purple variety. The sweet potato is well-known for its low glycemic index and high content of vitamins, fibres and minerals. The purple variety is rich in antioxidants, while the orange one contains the most beta carotene.
“In Okinawa, a famous Blue Zone in Japan where many people grow to be 100 years old, the diet consisted of 60 per cent sweet potato in the past. People chose healthy eating. And when you do, you might as well choose organic right away. But they also taste good. I think they taste best as a dish au gratin, or roasted in the oven, but they are also delicious as purée or soup,” says Ivar Schout, product manager sweet potatoes for Eosta, about the increased popularity of (organic) sweet potatoes.
African sweet potato
In May, Eosta will also import sweet potatoes from Senegal for the first time ever. It is the sixth country of origin for Eosta’s sweet potatoes. “In the coming months, we will get harvest-fresh sweet potatoes from Honduras and Senegal. Additionally, we will receive Covington from the US. Later in the season, they’ll come from countries such as Egypt and Spain. In this way, we manage to deliver the best quality each season,” Ivar continues.
International Sweet Potato Week
In order to introduce the sweet potato to more Europeans, the International Sweet Potato Week will be celebrated throughout Europe from 1 to 13 April. Tasting sessions will be organised in supermarkets, and a large number of recipe cards, flyers and posters will be distributed.