Side Delights® shared industry data showing that retail sales of fresh potatoes alone totaled $3.1 billion for the past year (July 2020-June 2021). During this time frame, consumers bought 577 million more pounds of potatoes than before the pandemic (July 2018 – June 2019.) These figures confirm the continued demand for potatoes in the U.S., which holds their position as the leading vegetable and top side dish in the country.
One reason sales continue to climb may be that many consumers still choose to stay home for meals. A new Covid impact report showed that the primary reason some shoppers stay home – is not the pandemic. The leading drivers are cost (50%) and comfort (40%), with “it costs less” leading in most age groups and by individual states.
“We are excited that shoppers continue to choose potatoes as the number one vegetable,” noted Kathleen Triou, President and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network. “While many shoppers are returning to their busy schedules, many are leaning into the convenience of quick-to-cook products like our Side Delights® Steamables and Bakeables so they can prepare meals easily and cost-effectively in the comfort of their own home.”
Data confirmed packaged potatoes such as microwaveable and single wrapped products increased in dollars and volume over the past 12 months. Specific types of potatoes drove performance over the same period, with yellow, petite, medley, and fingerling potatoes increasing in both sales and volume over 2020 – presenting retailers with an incremental purchase opportunity.
When shoppers have potatoes on the shopping list (which is often since 74% of them report eating potatoes weekly), stores can invite them to try these varietals again to increase basket size and expand their dinner options.
“Shoppers are voting with their dollars to delve deeper into value-added items. Promoting these higher-margin items expands not only the category but also supports the needs of shoppers as time constraints return to family schedules.” Triou added, “And with our ‘Grown Where It Matters’ program, we offer retailers digital and in-store communications to educate shoppers about where their potatoes are grown, as well as share the passion our farmers have for growing fresh quality potatoes.”
Source: Fresh Solutions Network
President & CEO
Fresh Solutions Network, LLC