Retail potato sales increased by 2.6% in dollar value and 1.1% in volume in the July-September quarter, the first of the marketing year.
Potatoes USA reported volume increases for chips, frozen and refrigerated potatoes. Dehydrated and canned potatoes, and deli-prepared sides, declined in sales value. Deli dropped slightly in volume.
Fresh-potato sales dropped slightly while dollar value rose. Reds dropped in volume and value. Russet volume increased, but that variety was down in sales value as prices fell slightly. Sales and volume totals rose for yellow, white and medley fresh potatoes.
Idaho produces nearly one-third of all U.S. potatoes. “There is no category in produce by weight that sells more at retail than potatoes,” Idaho Potato Commission Retail Vice President Seth Pemsler said. “It’s a very important category to the retail industry.”
He said the big fresh category remains healthy. Total fresh tonnage sold has dropped slightly in recent years “as the trend goes from larger bag sizes, such as the 10-pound, to smaller sizes such as the five- and four-pound bags,” Pemsler said.