Consumers

Crisis in the fields: France’s potato prices surge amid climate change threats

France is grappling with a severe farming crisis, as national inflation has dramatically increased potato prices, affecting various potato-based products. The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) reported a nearly 23% rise in potato prices within a year. The crisis has disrupted the French supply chain, leading to a 50% hike in prices for potato processors buying potatoes from growers. Contracts between growers and manufacturers have become 36% more expensive, with no immediate relief in sight.

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Maine’s potato farmers face ever-rising costs, impact on consumer prices looms

In Maine, potato prices may soon rise due to escalating farming costs. Farmers face higher expenses for electricity, diesel, and labor, impacting their profit margins. Despite current stable prices in grocery stores, the increased production costs, affected by supply chain issues and inflation, could eventually lead to higher prices for consumers. Maine’s potato industry, worth $247 million, is grappling with economic challenges that may affect the market.

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‘Burgers beyond borders’: McDonald’s daily diners outnumber populations of entire nations

McDonald’s, a leading global fast-food chain, has displayed its dominance by serving 70 million customers daily, exceeding the populations of countries like France, the UK, Italy, Argentina, Canada, and Poland. With over 40,275 outlets worldwide, McDonald’s has significantly outpaced its nearest competitor, Subway. In 2022, the US, the birthplace of McDonald’s, generated $9.42 billion in revenue, while international markets collectively contributed about $11.16 billion. McDonald’s success is attributed to aggressive marketing and customer engagement through the McDonald’s Rewards program.

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The battle against acrylamide: Progress and challenges in European food industries

A research team in Italy studied acrylamide levels in over 15,000 food samples and found potato-based products and coffee were the top sources of exposure to the potentially carcinogenic compound. The study also revealed that mitigation measures by the European Union have made a significant difference over time, notably decreasing contamination levels. However, it equally emphasized continuous monitoring and strict regulation to maintain these improvements and ensure public health.

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Challenging potato supply scenario in Ireland, plenty of crop still to be harvested in Europe

Irish consumers are increasingly turning to potatoes as a staple food, driving strong retail demand and home consumption, according to the weekly potato market report issued by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA). Unprecedented rainfall and flooding have made this year’s harvest one of the most difficult on record. IFA reports that lifting progress on the European continent has been described as ‘minimal’ again this week and there is still plenty left in the ground.

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Rethinking potatoes: A comprehensive nutritional analysis and its impact on health

This article, based on research by Stephen A. Fleming and Jenny R. Morris at Traverse Science in Illinois, challenges the negative perception of potatoes, focusing on their nutritional value and health impact. It argues that potatoes are high-quality carbohydrates, comparable to legumes and grains. The study highlights the importance of preparation methods and dietary context, showing that potatoes can contribute positively to a balanced diet and should not be excluded based on their glycemic index alone.

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Golden batch: Finalists for the UK’s best fish and chip takeaway unveiled

The National Fish and Chip Awards have announced the top 20 contenders for the Takeaway of the Year title, narrowing down from an initial 40 after a stringent evaluation process. These shops have demonstrated excellence in sustainability, product knowledge, and business practices. The winner will be revealed at the awards ceremony in London on February 28, 2024, celebrating the best of the UK’s beloved fish and chip takeaways.

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‘Sorry, but not all hash browns are created equal’: The Australian frozen hash brown showdown

The Guardian’s Nicholas Jordan taste tested Australian frozen hash browns. He crowned Birds Eye Potato Gems as the top choice for their ideal crunch and flavor. Birds Eye also offered the best value, while McCain’s Quick Cook impressed with speed. Variations in crunchiness and flavor, like the farm-scented Seasons Pride and the inedible Strong Roots, highlighted the importance of texture in frozen potato products. This taste test revealed that not all hash browns are created equal…

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The Little Potato Company’s festive campaign: A dash of happiness and a chance to win

The Little Potato Company, North America’s leading Creamer potato company, has launched the “A Little Holiday Happiness Is…” campaign, featuring online and POS sweepstakes running until January. Angela Santiago, CEO, emphasizes the campaign’s aim to bring joy and ease to families during the festive season. Amid rising food prices, the company offers a chance to win $1,000 in groceries, with 30 winners across the U.S. and Canada. Their Little Potatoes, which are pre-washed and require no peeling or cutting, promise convenience and deliciousness for holiday meals.

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How biofortified potatoes can become a game-changer in the battle against anemia of children

Hugo Campos, roots, tubers and banana breeding lead at CGIAR, discusses the global challenge of anemia, especially in children, in a recent article published by The Des Moines Register. Highlighting the higher prevalence in low-income countries, Campos emphasizes the potential of biofortification. The International Potato Center’s development of iron-enriched potatoes aims to combat anemia. These potatoes can provide essential iron, especially in regions with high potato consumption. This innovation offers a sustainable solution to address iron deficiencies and improve global health.

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Potatoes: The produce powerhouse driving retail success in the U.S.

Fresh potatoes have emerged as a consistent sales force in the U.S. produce sector, offering retailers vast opportunities for increased customer interaction. Data reveals that effective merchandising significantly boosts potato sales. With the highest household penetration among vegetables, purchased on average 10 times annually, potatoes enhance sales for other items too. Their contribution to the produce department ensures overall store success, making them a valuable asset for retailers.

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Potato starch shows promise for bone marrow transplant patients

Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Michigan have discovered that potato starch may modify the gut microbiome in bone marrow transplant patients, potentially reducing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) complications. The study, published in Nature Medicine, found that over 80% of participants safely consumed the potato starch supplement, leading to increased gut butyrate levels. This dietary intervention could enhance the success of bone marrow transplants.

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Frozen potato boom: Global market set to soar to $92.7 billion by 2031

Europe is solidifying its dominance in the frozen potato market, as revealed by a recent report from Allied Market Research. The global market, which was valued at $60.3 billion in 2021, is projected to soar to $92.7 billion by 2031. The frozen french fries segment holds the most significant portion of the global market. The french fries segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% from 2022 to 2031.

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Veg of Lund receives U.S. patent protecting its plant-based potato drink DUG

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has informed Veg of Lund AB that they intend to approve the patent application “vegan potato emulsion,” which defines the company’s unique vegetable milk alternative. This means that the upcoming patent protection will cover the US market. The drink is marketed under the brand name DUG in several European markets.

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Happy meal? Steady demand for french fries is good news for U.S. economy

Despite economic challenges, consumers continue to order french fries with their meals, indicating a positive economic sign. Potato supplier Lamb Weston reported that the rate of customers ordering fries at fast-food outlets remains above pre-pandemic levels. This suggests consumers are still willing to spend despite high inflation. However, there’s a shift in behavior, with consumers preferring quick-service food providers over full-service restaurants.

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Dutch retailer PLUS taking a green turn? Introducing organic potatoes at regular prices

Dutch retailer PLUS is embarking on a shift towards organic potatoes in their fresh produce section. They’ve rolled out unprocessed organic potatoes in one-kilogram bags, interestingly priced the same as their non-organic counterparts. To ensure fairness, PLUS has committed to compensating farmers for the price difference. This initiative is in line with the Dutch government’s goal of achieving 15% organic farming land by 2030.

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‘Finding a needle in a potato sack’: Potato farmers prioritize inspection systems to ensure food safety

Farmers in North America, especially from Prince Edward Island (PEI), are prioritizing potato safety due to past incidents of metal contaminants in produce. In response, Fortress Technology introduced the Phantom metal detection system, designed to handle the unique challenges posed by potatoes. This system ensures high standards in the potato supply chain, emphasizing shared responsibility in food safety and the importance of upstream inspection to protect brands and guarantee consumer-safe products.

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‘From fries to fortunes’: The booming growth of the frozen potato industry sector

The global frozen potato market is projected to reach $92.63 billion by 2030, up from $65.06 billion in 2022, according to The Insight Partners. This surge is driven by the growing demand for ready-to-eat foods and the popularity of convenience items. Key industry players are expanding through mergers and innovative product launches. The rising number of dual-income families and single households further fuels the demand for frozen potato products.

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‘Potatoes Forever!’ campaign launched in Europe to promote sustainable practices in the potato industry

Europe has initiated a €3.2 million “POTATOES FOREVER!” campaign, spanning three years in France and Italy, to educate the public about sustainable practices in the potato sector. Funded 80% by the European Union, the campaign aims to highlight the industry’s efforts in biodiversity protection, water conservation, and eco-friendly farming. The initiative responds to consumers’ growing demand for transparency in food production and sustainability.

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The ‘potato chronicles’: National Potato Council unpacking the latest in US potato industry trends

The National Potato Council’s ‘Spud Nation Report’, published earlier this year, provides a detailed overview of the US potato industry. It highlights a rising demand for potatoes, with sales reaching $4.8 billion in 2022. The report discusses production trends, export-import dynamics, changing consumer preferences towards organic and non-GMO potatoes, sustainability efforts, technological advancements in food safety, marketing strategies, policy implications, labor challenges, and research initiatives.

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America’s ‘veggie king’: The unwavering popularity of potatoes

At the 2023 Potato Business Summit earlier this year, Kim Breshears of Potatoes USA highlighted the enduring popularity of potatoes in America. Studies show potatoes as the top vegetable for five consecutive years. While 40% of the U.S. potato crop goes to retail and food service each, 20% is exported. Despite a brief pandemic-induced dip, food service sales are rebounding, indicating a robust future for the potato industry. The data presented by Kim Breshears underscores the unwavering popularity of potatoes in the U.S. market.

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Eye on Potatoes podcast: Defending potatoes in the 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans process

The “Eye on Potatoes” podcast discussed the upcoming 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). The U.S. potato industry aims to ensure accurate potato nutrition information is considered in the guidelines. NPC CEO Kam Quarles provided testimony to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The podcast also featured Beth Johnson, a food policy expert with over 25 years of experience, who has been working with NPC to promote the benefits of potatoes.

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A booming global potato snacks market: Flavors and health trends shape its future growth

The global potato snacks market is booming, valued at $92.31 billion in 2023 and expected to grow at a 3.1% CAGR to $125.04 billion by 2033, according to Persistence Market Research. Factors such as rising disposable incomes, increasing population, and urbanization are driving this growth. The market is also influenced by trends like demand for flavored and organic snacks, and innovative packaging. Potato snacks, including chips and fries, have become a staple in global snacking culture.

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Fries on the rise: Nearly half of potatoes now go into frozen products

The USDA’s Economic Research Service reveals that the majority of potatoes in the U.S. are now sold in processed forms like frozen, chipped, or canned products. The popularity of french fries in quick-service restaurants has led to a rise in frozen potato products since 1979. However, the trend saw a slowdown as consumers adopted low-carb diets and explored alternative foods. Despite this, frozen potato availability increased by 8% during the pandemic years of 2019–21. Quick-service restaurants account for two-thirds of french fry consumption.

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The booming demand for frozen potatoes: A decade’s outlook

The global frozen potato market is projected to grow from $60.30 Billion in 2021 to $92.70 Billion by 2031, driven by rising disposable incomes, especially in emerging economies. China’s increasing purchasing power and the expansion of fast-food chains in Latin America play significant roles. However, developed countries are witnessing a shift towards healthier food alternatives. The growth of quick-service restaurants offering budget-friendly frozen potato options further propels the market.

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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