McDonald’s in Norway is switching to Norwegian potatoes for their fries after produce giants BAMA and Gartnerhallen succeeded in developing a novel potato that met the burger chain’s standards.


With the assistance of The Norwegian Crop Research Institute and the Norwegian Food Research Institute, two new potato types dubbed Santana and Innovator have been bred.


“The new types are larger than ordinary potatoes and have an oblong shape that makes them especially suited to producing long French fries,” says Atle Beyer of Bama and Gartnerhallen-owned GRO Industries.


The development process has taken five years and cost nearly NOK7m (US$1.1m). According to McDonald’s, the news means reduced transport obstacles for their Norwegian operations and means that all core ingredients – save bread and sauce – at their 67 outlets in Norway are now produced in the country.


Information chief Hanne Linnert at Bama said that 13,000 tons of Santana and Innovator would be grown this season for McDonald’s, and that the project was just one of several aiming to return the potato to popularity by developing superior quality and better tasting varieties.