The appeal of organic potatoes is increasing and growers are planting more acreage in response. This is according to Jeff Stachelek of Albert Bartlett USA, and is supported by Nielsen sales data. Stachelek says that the majority of growth in the potato category is occurring in the specialty types like bite-sized and fingerlings, as well as organic. As a result, companies like Albert Bartlett are increasing their production.
“The growth in the overall potato category is generally flat, at around two percent,” Stachelek said. “Bite-sized, fingerlings and organics are seeing the most growth. Organic potatoes took longer to gain momentum compared with other fruit and vegetables in terms of acreage planted, but it is now growing at a much healthier pace versus the rest of the produce category.”
He added that Albert Bartlett has increased acreage in the order of 15 – 25 percent in response to demand. “With this significant growth in volume, we anticipate sales to match this growth because we plant in response to consumer demand.”
Albert Bartlett began its US operations in 2012, with its first harvest in 2013. The UK-based company now has a presence in the US in 19 states as well as 4 Canadian provinces. One of the company’s best-selling potatoes is called “Rooster”, which has its roots in Ireland. “Rooster is our flagship organic and conventional variety. It has pink weathered skin with yellow flesh and a high amount of dry matter.