North America, Promotion/Marketing, Retail

US potato sales at retail increased in 2021 compared to 2019

Potato sales from January to December 2021 increased compared to the same period in 2019, before the pandemic, but could not keep up with consumers’ increased time spent in home kitchens during 2020, according to Potatoes USA. The industry body says volume sales increased almost 5% compared to the more normalized time of 2019. Figures were compiled by IRI.

While most categories declined in volume sales compared to 2020, dollar sales grew in three categories. Deli-prepared sides saw the most significant dollar sales increase of 11.5% and 7.3% in volume sales. Refrigerated potatoes and chips increased in dollar sales by 2.5% and 0.2%, respectively.

Frozen potatoes experienced the smallest decline in dollar sales at 3.8%, while canned potatoes had the largest decline in dollar and volume sales, dropping by 16.4% and 18.8%, respectively. Dehydrated potatoes also declined in dollar and volume sales.

January and February saw an increase greater than 13% in total store dollar and volume sales compared to 2020. In 2020, these store sales months occurred before the panic buying that commenced in March of 2020, indicating that sales were strong before the onset of the pandemic.

The decline in fresh sales was largely impacted by russet sales, which is the largest volume share of the fresh potato category. Dollar and volume sales both fell by over 10%. White potatoes, however, declined by the largest percentage in dollars at 18.8%. Volume sales of purple potatoes declined the most in the fresh potato category of 21.9%.

One through four-pound bags of potatoes saw an increase in price by almost 6%, leading to an increase in dollar sales but a decline in volume sales compared to 2020. The package types showing growth compared to 2020 are micro/steamer and tray packaged potatoes, growing by 8% or more in dollar and volume sales.

Source: Potatoes USA
Photo: Potatoes USA

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