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Spud sales have been ‘re-energised’ by Covid, says McCain’s UK & Ireland president

Brits have fallen back in love with potatoes. So says McCain’s UK & Ireland president Howard Snape, who’s been putting together some retail sales figures at its otherwise deserted UK HQ in Scarborough. He’s feeling buoyant about the findings, he tells Henry Sandercock in an interview published by The Grocer. “We’re now selling 80 million jacket potatoes a year or 1.6 million a week – a 10% rise year on year,” he beams.

Snape believes Covid has “helped to re-energise” the potato, previously a casualty of a long-running decline in unit sales. The sudden change in fortunes is about more than transferral of foodservice spend, he argues. “We’ve seen the expansion through Covid of home-type comforts and potato fits in with that,” he says.

The market numbers back him up. The frozen potatoes sector has grown ahead of total grocery, up more than £103m to £873.4m in the past year [Kantar 52 w/e 27 December 2020]. McCain has led this charge, leaping 21.3% to £418.3m [Nielsen, 52 w/e 26 December 2020] with savvy innovations such as the launch of its Leon-inspired frozen Waffle Fries in September.

For the moment at least, the longer-term picture means recovering from the pandemic, through initiatives such as the Farmer Pledge and the Family Fund charity partnership.

Source: The Grocer. Read the full story here
Photo: Howard Snape | Courtesy The Grocer

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