The latest Kantar figures confirm that Northern Ireland’s potato packing sector has grown by 3.9% over the past year in terms of total turnover. All the sector’s key parameters: including frequency of purchase and volumes purchased per retail visit are all up with one very obvious exception, according to a report by Farming Life.
Wilson’s Country managing director Lewis Cunningham takes up the story: “The average price of potatoes in the shops has fallen over the past 12 months.
“The Kantar survey confirms an average price per kilo of 82p for the 52 week period ending June 30th 2020. This represents a 4.2% reduction on the previous 12 months.”
Potato sales in Northern Ireland for the past year totalled £50.83m, representing a 3.9% increase on the previous 12 months. Sales volumes increased by 8.5% during the same, period, exceeding 60,000t.
Lewis Cunningham again: “Individual purchase volumes increased by 6.4% over the past year totalling 85.4kg. Potatoes now enjoy a 97.6% retail penetration in Northern Ireland. That’s up 1.4% on 2019 levels.”
He continued: “All of these trends point to a very positive story for the local potato sector. They also confirm the growing consumption of potatoes in homes. Significantly, these trends became apparent before the introduction of the Covid-19 lockdown.
“We saw the expected, seasonal boost in potato consumption at Christmas time 2019. However, this momentum was maintained into the New Year. There’s also little doubt that the lockdown measures have encouraged more people to cook at home more frequently, across the board.”
Source: Farming Life. Read the full report here
Photo: Inspecting a crop of Cultra potatoes near Rathfriland in Co Down earlier this week, left to right : Wilson’s Country agronomist Stuart Meredith in the company of growers Jonny Moore and his father Alistair. Weather permitting, the ‘spuds’ will be harvested at the end of September. | Farming Life