Consumers

Buoyant retail sales of US potatoes reported

Record potato retail sales continued from October to December 2020, the second quarter of Potatoes USA’s marketing year 2021. The industry body says in a press release that all three months saw an increase in both dollar and volume sales, with the largest growth in December. Total store potato sales grew 9.3% in volume and 12.3% in value. Prices also increased for consumers by 2.7%, which contributed to the 12.3% increase in dollar sales.

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The new potato range from Linwood Crops: Sold for ‘Purpose and Taste’

Due to how potato varieties can perform so differently at different times of the season, Linwood Crops in the UK says it does not sell its potato varieties by variety as such (unless requested), but rather by the ‘best available for purpose’, as well as for consistency – and ultimately taste on the day, and at whatever stage of the season, the company says. This Unique Selling Point (USP) puts Linwood’s Chef’s Taste brand in a class above any others and is receiving a fantastic amount of interest, according to Linwood.

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Dietary Guidelines for Americans: ‘Make every bite count with potatoes’

Potatoes help support the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommendation for increased nutrient-dense vegetable consumption. Says John Toaspern, Potatoes USA Chief Marketing Officer: “It’s official: the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans have yet again confirmed the importance of eating more vegetables such as potatoes that provide potassium and vitamin C. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations focus on increased nutrient-dense vegetable consumption.

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Potato sales and utilization in the US: The ‘what’, ‘where’, and ‘how much’ answered

John Toaspern, Chief Marketing Officer at Potatoes USA provides insight from this year’s Sales and Utilization study of US potatoes. “With everything that has occurred this past marketing year, it is very important for us to understand what has happened with the sales of potatoes in the US market and how the crop was utilized based on an analysis of potatoes and products sold at retail and food service and accounting for the volume of US exports and imports,” Toasperm says.

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UK: Seasonal potato market roundup – December 2020

The GB potato industry accounts for over 117.46Kha of planted area this year, and is represented by 1,611 growers in 2020. AHDB Analyst Alex Cook writes in this news report that British growers have faced difficult seasons of late. Last season, from a supply point of view with the challenging lifting conditions in 2019/20, and now this season from a demand point of view with suppressed levels as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This article aims to cover a seasonal roundup of what has happened so far, as well as commentary on what December may hold for potato markets.

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Ireland: ‘We’ve had our chips – and we never even knew’

Declan Lynch, Irish Independent journalist, writes in this piece, published yesterday: “One of the many scandals of Brexit was the failure to inform the British public of some of the obvious ways in which they’d be affected – or at least the failure to make that information stick in the public consciousness.” It was on Morning Ireland that most of us discovered for the first time in our lives that most of the chips that we get in the chippers are made with potatoes imported from England, Lynch writes.

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Idaho Potato Commission launches media blitz to boost holiday potato sales

A survey conducted by the research firm Morning Consult found that 47% of families say they will cancel holiday get-togethers. What does this mean for potato sales? “We know that potatoes are the most popular side dish on the Thanksgiving table, and we don’t expect that to change,” explained Frank Muir, President & CEO, Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). “We anticipate that Idaho® potatoes will remain at the top of shoppers’ lists, regardless of the number of people at their gatherings.

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New campaign to promote the benefits of the baked potato to Brits

A new AHDB marketing campaign to promote the benefits of the baked potato will use in-depth consumer analysis to pick the right spud selling point for each segment of the market. AHDB says it will launch the campaign in February with a budget of £150,000. It follows a £100,000 burst in the summer that promoted potatoes during the lockdown.

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In an age of biofortified food: Study reveals potato’s potential for reducing anemia

Potatoes can be an excellent source of iron. This means potatoes could play an important role in efforts to reduce iron deficiency – the leading cause of anemia, which affects about 2 billion people globally. Whereas people absorb only about 2-10% of the iron in most vegetables, 8% of the iron in pearl millet and less than 10% of the iron in beans, participants in this study absorbed 28% of the iron in the yellow-fleshed potato they ate.

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European potato ‘dumping’ hurting New Zealand growers and industry

According to a report by Toni Williams for Rural Life in New Zealand, an influx of European potato fries into New Zealand has already impacted on domestic growers, with less product planned for growing and staff job losses. Latest figures were estimated at a surplus of 2.6million tonnes in Europe and growing due to the impacts of further lockdowns in parts of Europe.

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Thanksgiving 2020: Insights into American spending, favorite meals and side dishes

Side Delights shared their findings from studies published on 2020 Thanksgiving spending and favorite Thanksgiving meals and side dishes. The data showed that almost 75% of Americans plan to spend the same amount of money or more on Thanksgiving this year, with 80% shopping at stores instead of opting to purchase online. What will they be spending the increase on? According to the National Turkey Federation, 88% of Americans indicated they will be serving turkey on Thanksgiving this year.

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Potatoes at home in multicultural American cuisine

According to Jim Offner of The Packer publication, marketing to different ethnic and demographic groups in North America requires flexibility and a diverse portfolio of products, marketers say. Jim writes in a recent article in The Packer that packaging — or lack of it — is an example, according to Jessica Peri, retail sales manager with Yerington, Nev.-based onion grower-shipper Peri & Sons Farms. “We have found that most markets that cater to specific demographics purchase mostly bulk and not in bags,” she said. “This is preferred by most ethnic groups.”

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Good news for potato lovers – especially diabetics

People with type 2 diabetes are often warned against the consumption of high GI foods, such as white potatoes, especially at night as they tend to make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Researchers investigated the impact of potato consumption as part of a mixed evening meal on nocturnal glycemic response. The study concluded that there was no significant difference in glycemic response after eating high GI boiled or roasted potato-based meals compared to low GI basmati rice.

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Large Nordic chicken producer invests in potato-based, chicken alternative

Scandi Standard, the largest producer of chicken in Nordic countries, announced this week its partnership and investmentin Veg of Lund, which is a producer of bottled plant-based smoothies. It seems like an unlikely duo, but Veg of Lund has patented its smoothie base of potato and rapeseed oil, which will be used to create the plant-based chicken alternative. The meat producer has[Read More…]

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Idaho potato industry bouncing back from COVID challenges

Idaho’s iconic potato industry suffered through a major scare due to the restrictions and shutdowns imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic. But major efforts by the industry that were coordinated by the state and national groups that represent it have helped potato producers weather that storm. And one major silver lining of the challenge is that U.S. consumers have learned how important spuds are. That was one of the main messages during the Idaho Potato Commission’s annual, “The Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting,” which was held virtually Nov. 12.

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New Fenway Reds potato variety steps up to the plate in Maine

Last year, Green Thumb partnered with Hannaford to develop the Queen Anne potato. This year they’re partnering with Hannaford again to introduce Fenway Reds, a variety that’s new to Maine. Fenway Reds is a unique red potato; while many red varieties are oblong in shape, Fenway Reds are round and consistent. In fact, this variety is the roundest red potato ever grown at Green Thumb Farms.

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Abertay Univ and Agrico cooperate to develop a better potato using videogaming tech

Videogame technology will be used to help develop the perfect potato as part of a ground-breaking new project involving Abertay University and a major potato seed supplier, reports Richard Mason in a news story published by The National. The university, based in Dundee, has entered into a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Agrico UK Ltd, with the aim of utilising artificial intelligence to shorten what is normally a lengthy and complicated process, taking more than 10 years to breed a new potato variety.

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What does Lockdown 2.0 mean for the British potato industry?

Lockdown 2.0 “arrived” in Britain and this brings widespread closure of pubs and restaurants once again. Although the rules differ across the country, with Wales’ firebreak rules coming to an end, Scotland experiencing regional restrictions and England in a full national lockdown. This will inevitably effect the potato industry, but the effect is unlikely to be as dramatic as the first lockdown, according to the AHDB.

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Opinion: COVID-19 and global potato markets – Impact and consequences

The Coronavirus has had a major impact on the global potato industry since its discovery and spread earlier this year, writes Cedric Porter, editor of World Potato Markets magazine. The crisis led to a 20 percent increase in household consumption of table potatoes in April-May in many countries. Trade in potatoes and potato products declined 3,4% to € 13,240 billion for the Northern Hemisphere from August 2019 to July 2020. The crisis has shown many buyers that potatoes are nutritious, versatile and a valuable food.

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Study found that potato based diet does not disturb blood sugar control in diabetes

Researchers have found for the first time in a rigorously controlled clinical trial that people with diabetes don’t need to avoid potatoes. It is often said that potatoes with high glycemic index should be avoided by diabetics as they may adversely affect blood sugar. But the study indicates that glycemic index is not an accurate surrogate for an individual’s glycemic response (GR) to a food consumed as part of an evening meal. The researchers concluded that potatoes are a vegetable that is sustainable, affordable and nutrient-dense, and thus, they can play an important role in modern diets irrespective of metabolic health status.

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Fairfields Farm to supply global meal kit player HelloFresh with its low carbon footprint potatoes

UK based potato grower, Fairfields Farm in Essex, recently announced that it will be supplying HelloFresh with its low carbon footprint potatoes from October. HelloFresh is the leading global meal kit player, operating in 14 countries, it has delivered 149 million meals worldwide in Q2 2020 alone. Fairfields Farm will be supplying HelloFresh in the UK with fresh potatoes from its family farm in Colchester, Essex, and helping the recipe box delivery service in its quest to become carbon neutral.

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McCain Foods US to support 750,000 meals for No Kid Hungry campaign

Following the announcement of McCain Foods US partnership with the No Kid Hungry organization, the company says on its LinkedIn channel that it is delighted to share that its financial donation will provide the equivalent of 750,000 meals. This donation is part of the No Kid Hungry ’s coronavirus response and recovery efforts that will help provide children with the most important school supply: Food.

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US potato retail sales exceed 5-year records

Record potato sales continued at retail from July through September 2020, according to a news release issued by Potatoes USA. Total store potato sales are said to have increased by 13.6% in dollar sales and 10.6% in volume sales, compared to the same time frame in 2019. These sales levels are also the highest they have been for the past five years. Frozen potatoes showed the greatest increase compared to a year ago, with a dollar sales increase of 23.9% and a 19.7% increase in volume sales. The only category that declined compared to a year ago is deli-prepared sides.

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BOULDER CANYON debuts new thin and crispy potato chips made with avocado oil

BOULDER CANYON® brings adventurous, flavorful snack food innovation to those seeking a better-for-you experience with their new Thin & Crispy potato chips. BOULDER CANYON continues its impressive track record of providing simple and healthier snack foods options. BOULDER CANYON has risen to be a fast-growing salty snack brand with the number one potato chip SKU in the natural channel, BOULDER CANYON Avocado Oil Sea Salt Potato Chip.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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