With COVID-19 closures in place all across the United States, and even the world, restaurant demand for potatoes has fallen. According to Frank Muir, CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission, 60% of Idaho potatoes go to restaurants. Samantha Vanderwalker reports for The Jefferson Star.
Idaho potato farmers worked to adapt their crops to go to retail instead of food service, sending 50 lbs. crates to grocers for displays. Videos on social media of people deliberately coughing on produce further set back growers as they now had to start bagging potatoes instead of placing them in cartons, losing time and money.
According to Muir, 2020 potato prices started off strong. March showed more potato purchases than the days prior to Thanksgiving 2019.