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CPAC springs ahead with warm weather promos

Continuing to promote its more than 100 varieties of spuds during its Five Distinct Potato Seasons campaign, the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee has launched the "Spring Ahead" season for March through May.

The seasonal approach, developed by the U.S. Potato Board to reach a composite female consumer dubbed "Linda," began in the fall of 2012 with "Back on Track" at the onset of the school year. The winter holidays featured "Plus Up Potatoes," with the focus on traditional meals and festive entertaining.fingerling-potato-salad-witFingerling potato salad with lemon and thyme. "Nurture Me" in January and February put emphasis on late-winter activities and a recommitment to healthy lifestyles.

"Spring Ahead," as the name implies, tunes into warm weather, outdoor fun and the convenience of potatoes in on-the-go meal planning. The final season will be "Lighten Up" in summertime, with a push toward fun meals and an unconventional approach to cooking.

With Colorado's wide selection of potatoes, "Spring Ahead" is a natural springboard for deep purple varieties, which are loaded with antioxidants and maintain their color in salads and side dishes, as well as for the quick-cooking, colorful and nutritious fingerlings.

Linda Weyers, assistant director of the committee, said that CPAC's web site, coloradopotato.org, and its links to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest hold a wealth of recipes and meal ideas along with nutrition data.

"We explain how the different colors of potatoes provide different nutrients," she said in a press release. "The purples and deeper-colored varieties are very high in antioxidants, and the russets and yellows are good sources of potassium and vitamin C. All potatoes are heart-healthy, and there's information now that show they also help lower blood pressure. And each of our potato varieties is perfect for warm weather preparation — they're great in soups and salads and are wonderful grilled."

Consumer media, both print and electronic, are receiving stories, recipes and photos from CPAC, and the committee continues to enlarge its social media presence.

Research by the U.S. Potato Board shows that Facebook remains the number-one online destination for consumers, and fare such as the fingerling potato salad with lemon and thyme has become a go-to recipe for "Lindas" nationwide.