Hundreds of people flocked to the town of Florenceville-Bristol, N.B. Monday to celebrate National French Fry Day in the french fry capital of the world,

In New Brunswick alone, french fries contribute about a billion dollars to the annual economy.

“The french fry is number one for us here, especially in New Brunswick, it's about 60 per cent of what we grow every day. So it's huge to us and it's also a huge global contributor and as you probably are all aware, one in three fries are McCain fries,” says Matt Hemphill, of Potatoes New Brunswick.

The french fry is often classified as fast food. For that reason, it has been seen as less than healthy or nutritious. However, the potato is a vegetable and even french fries can be considered part of a healthy diet.

“There's a lot of misconceptions about french fries,” says Calla Farn, of McCain Foods. “In fact, they're trans free, virtually all french fries made today are cooked in trans free oils. People might not know that of all vegetables, they are one of the best sources of both potassium and fiber and those are two nutrients that, often, Canadians aren't getting enough of in their diet.”

Trans fat free, high in fiber, today's french fry is vastly different from french fries of the past thanks to a collaborative effort between growers and producers.

“It's a never-ending project,” says Hemphill. “We compete on a global market place now, McCain is global, so therefore we compete on a global market, so we're actually launching new initiatives here shortly to help even better our quality and ultimately increase our yields to lower costs.”

French fry fans like Hannah McBrien welcome a day to celebrate the tasty tater.

“They're salty and crunchy and they kind of shaped our little town here, french fries did, so they're pretty cool,” says McBrien.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell