Fresh/ Table, Retail, Trends

UK: Potato giant has to dig deep for innovative new ideas after profits plummet 75%

Wilson’s Country chief executive Angus Wilson (right) on the potato packing lines at the company’s factory near Craigavon.A fall in the popularity of potatoes among health-conscious consumers contributed to a 75% slump in pre-tax profits at Wilson’s Country. Results for the year ending July 25, 2015 revealed the potato giant’s turnover fell by around £2m due to “challenging market conditions” for pre-packed and peeled potatoes. Wilson’s, which is based in Craigavon, said the fall in turnover “mirrored the market”, citing research by Kantar recording a 14.7% fall in the value of the fresh potato market. And the company, which processes potatoes from 25 farmers and has 84 staff, also battled with falling prices from supermarket customers as price competition intensified among the multiples. Pre-tax profit at the firm, which supplies supermarkets such as Tesco, Dunnes and Supervalu, fell from just over £1m to £246,000 – a drop of just over 75% over a year. More

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