Consumers, Fresh/ Table, North America, Retail, Trends, Varieties

The russet still Idaho’s Goliath potato, but its colorful David challengers making headway

Colorful SouthWind fingerlings vertical IMG_0718Move over, russets. When you shop in a supermarket produce section or order from a fine-dining restaurant menu, you’ll see small, colorful potatoes and fingerlings vying for your attention. That’s making an impact on Idaho’s iconic potato-growing industry, which is noticing the little spuds’ rising prices and profit potential. Russets still dominate, with 92 percent of Idaho’s potato crop and 71 percent nationwide devoted to the familiar brown spud. Smaller potatoes, which include varieties sold fresh but also used for French fries and potato chips, account for 8 percent of Idaho acres planted and 29 percent nationally. because the small potatoes carry a premium price, their share of the overall potato market in dollars has increased to 15 percent, from 10 percent four years ago, according to Potandon Produce, a large Idaho shipper. Small potatoes became popular in Europe decades ago and have made inroads in the United States over the past 20 years. More

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