News was mixed for the U.S. potato market over the holiday season.
Potatoes USA, formerly the US Potato Board, said the value of total store potato sales increased by 1.5% during the second quarter of the marketing year compared to the year before. The second quarter ran from October through December and included all holiday sales.
Volume was down by -1.8%. Frozen potatoes saw the largest gains. Fresh potatoes led the volume decline as total store potato sales fell -4.3% from the previous year.
According to the marketing group, fresh sale volume was down, mostly due to a -7.3% decline in russets, which make up 66.7% of the total volume.
Here is the full press release issued by Potatoes USA:
The value of total store potato sales increased by 1.5% during the second quarter of the marketing year compared to previous marketing year. Quarter two ran from October through December 2018 and included all holiday sales prior to the new year. Volume declined by -1.8% across all categories. Frozen potatoes saw the largest gain compared to the same period last marketing year. Tater drums and French fries contributed to the growth in volume of frozen potatoes, contributing 11.2% and 5.9%, respectively. The decline in volume of canned potatoes was mainly due to a decrease in whole canned potatoes which fell by 8.0% from year ago. Fresh potatoes lead the volume decline in total store potato sales falling by -4.3% from the previous year.
The decline in fresh sales volume was mostly due to a -7.3% decline in russets, which make up 66.7% of the total fresh volume, though the value of russet sales did still increase 0.4%. Purple/blue only contribute to 0.1% of the total volume of fresh potatoes but they decreased in volume by -12.4%. Not all types declined in quarter two. Yellows increased in sales volume by 4.8%. Yellows are the third greatest contributor to volume making up 11.6% of the fresh volume sold at retail. There were changes in the volume sales in regards to pack size as the smaller pack sizes saw a bit of a decline while 8-pound bags and bulk increased. Dollar sales were up for 1 to 4-pound packs by 3.8%, but volume declined by -1.0%. Eight-pound package sizes were up by 4.6% in dollar sales and 0.5% in volume. Bulk decreased in dollar sales by -1.4% but increased in volume by 0.8%.