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US potato industry scrambles to meet demand during coronavirus lockdown

Air fryers and toaster ovens around the country may go cold this week as the potato industry takes a major hit due to soaring demand for spuds amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Now, potato farmers and distributors are working around the clock to keep tater-loving Americans full on the hearty vegetable, UPI reports, as millions take to their kitchens — some for the first time — to cook for themselves.

“Stores are selling out of potatoes as soon as they get them in,” says Blair Richardson, CEO of Denver-based food marketing agency Potatoes USA. However, Richardson also assures that there is, in fact, plenty to go around — but it’s going to take a supply-chain shake-up to get more in supermarkets.

As many restaurants, caterers and other eateries have put their operations on hold indefinitely, potatoes will need to be rerouted to store shelves to serve individual consumers.

“It’s not that we’re out of potatoes,” says Frank Muir, president and CEO of the Boise, Idaho-based Idaho Potato Commission. “We have enough potatoes to get people through this crisis. It’s just that we don’t have them in the right place.”

Full report in the New York Post here

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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