After massive crop losses due to the drought that plagued Germany this year, potato prices for consumers have risen by more than half – and they have more blemishes.
But experts said consumers do not have to fear empty shelves, and that the flaws in Kartoffeln – a staple in the German diet – are purely cosmetic and do not impact the quality of the food.
Currently, customers in supermarkets have to pay around 84 cents per kg for potatoes in small packages, whereas the price per kg a year ago was 55 cents.
Christoph Hambloch, analyst at the Agricultural Market Information Service (AMI) in Bonn, reported the latest cost increase on Monday, and warned there could be further price hikes in spring.
Consumers should also be prepared for more potatoes that are not completely perfect in appearance. During years with better harvests, products with ‘beauty blemishes’ wouldn’t be sent to supermarkets to be sold.
But in view of the current shortage, there are currently more potatoes with dark spots and other blemishes finding their way onto shop shelves. Hambloch explained, however, that these are purely optical defects which have no influence on how the food tastes.
The German association of fruit, vegetable and potato processing industry (BOGK) also raised concerns over the harvest, saying it reached a historical low of 8.7 million tons. They added that 2020’s crop will be affected in a negative way because the seed potatoes, especially for the early crop potatoes, will not be sufficiently available.