Consumers

French fry ‘war’ escalates in Japan with convenience stores now chipping in

As we’ve seen over the past month, the global supply crisis and other factors have taken a huge toll on the supply of potatoes scheduled for the thousands of McDonald’s locations in Japan. Now even convenience stores are getting in on the action with Ministop announcing the Bucket Potato, which boasts three times the regular amount of their X Fried Potatoes for 641 yen.

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Retail giant Kaufland to sell low-carb potatoes

German retail giant Kaufland has rolled out low-carbohydrate potatoes, said to have 30% less carbohydrates, under its ‘Linella’ label. The new potato SKU is available across Germany at all Kaufland outlets, the retailer added. The innovative potato was created in collaboration with Kaufland’s long-term partner, Europlant Plant Breeding.

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As McDonald’s Japan restricts French fry sales, rival boosts fry sizes by 25 percent

In December, McDonald’s Japan announced that it would be suspending sales of all French fry orders except smalls due to a potato shortage. Now, rival Japanese fast food chain Freshness Burger announced it will be increasing the amount of French fires in its regular and large-size orders, as well as its combo meals, by 25 percent and without increasing the price.

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McDonald’s Japan’s French fry rationing extended for about another month

As we approached the end of last year, fast food fans were hit by the news of a French fry shortage in Japan which has most notably affected the chain McDonald’s. For a week the restaurant limited sales to only small-size orders of fries, which are called “Mac Fry Potato” in Japan. At the time, the rationing was attributed to delays caused by the ongoing global supply chain crisis as well as large-scale flooding in British Columbia, Canada, where the potatoes are imported from.

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Food technology company uses potatoes to create healthier processed meat products

Botaniline, an American food technology and innovation company, has created a healthier ground protein product line. By substituting a percentage of the meat with potato, Botaniline is able to achieve cleaner label processed meat products that are lower in sodium and saturated fat. The result is a reduction in sodium by up to 90% and a product that’s free of all allergens, gluten, MSG, TVP, and soy.

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KFC Kenya runs out of imported fries, now considers local suppliers ‘who meet standards’

Fast food chain KFC has suffered a shortage of French fries at its outlets in Kenya following delays in delivery from its overseas suppliers, forcing it to offer customers alternative food items in place of French fries. The company at first said it does not source potatoes for fries from local suppliers due to ‘global quality standards’, but then said on Tuesday this might happen ‘in the near future’.

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Upcycled Uglies Kettle Chips gets a new look

Uglies Kettle Chips announces a brand redesign with a new logo, website, and a package design ready to hit shelves this month. Uglies, a division of Dieffenbach’s Snacks, has been on a mission since 2017 to reduce waste, support farmers, and fight hunger by using imperfect potatoes to craft delicious kettle-cooked potato chips.

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French-fry airlift gives McDonald’s Japan a brief respite during shortage crisis

McDonald’s put medium and large servings of french fries back on its Japanese menu Friday after flying in much-needed supplies, ending a weeklong restriction caused by shortages that have stymied the nation’s food industry. While the restriction has been lifted for now, there is concern that McDonald’s could limit serving sizes once again, depending on inventory levels.

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McDonald’s Japan cuts down on fries servings owing to potato scarcity from Canada

McDonald’s Japan will only serve small-sized fries for a week starting Friday, as a result of delays in potato shipments from Canada. “Due to flooding near the Port of Vancouver and the global supply chain crunch caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there are delays in the supply of potatoes,” the company announced on Tuesday. Potatoes used to make french fries are usually imported from North America, McDonald’s Japan said.

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Potatoes USA: 2021 foodservice potato menu trends

Potatoes USA has issued a comprehensive research report depicting the potato category’s penetration on menus across different segments, dayparts, cuisines, and much more. According to the report, potatoes have a presence on 82.9% of restaurant menus in the U.S., and fast-casual restaurants are projected to experience the most growth of potatoes, 5%, over the next four years.

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What next? Lay’s unveils limited-edition potato vodka for the holidays

Lay’s is getting into the specialty liquor game with a new potato vodka for the holiday season. The Pepsico-owned brand unveiled the limited-edition booze on Thursday, in an effort to deliver “new and innovative ways to bring joy and fun” to fans, according to Melissa Miranda, Frito-Lay North America’s senior director of marketing.

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Meet ‘Nemo’ – Branston’s new fast-cooking, best-roasting potato variety

“We were searching for a quicker-cooking potato variety to make crispy, golden roasties that taste deliciously buttery, and this is what we found,” according to Lincolnshire-based potato growing business Branston. Branston says this new variety has been developed through careful crossing between Inca Bella and the popular, red-skinned Salad variety Franceline.

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UK crisp shortage eases after earlier supply problems

According to a news report by Reuters, fewer shops in Britain have shortages of potato crisps this week than the week before, official figures showed on Thursday, in a sign that supply problems for the popular snack food are easing. Britain’s biggest crisp producer Walkers had to scale back production at the start of the month after problems with an IT systems upgrade, which it warned could take weeks to fix.

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Walkers crisps shortage could last until end of month after IT glitch

British shoppers may face shortages of some of their favourite crisps until the end of the month after a botched computer upgrade disrupted the world’s biggest crisp factory, according to a news report by The Guardian. “A recent IT system upgrade has disrupted the supply of some of our products. Our sites are still making crisps and snacks but at a reduced scale,” a Walkers spokesperson said.

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Wada Farms, The Produce Moms launch cobranded potato package

Wada Farms, one of America’s largest grower-shippers-marketers of fresh potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes for retail buyers and the food distribution industries and The Produce Moms, a leading digital influencer of all things fruits and vegetables, have moved their long-time partnership onto the retail shelf with a new co-branded potato package.

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Waitrose to sell potato milk as demand for plant-based options grows

Britons already eat potatoes boiled, baked, roasted and mashed but now the humble spud is being milked for all its worth, with potato milk set to be the next big thing, according to a report by The Guardian. Alice Shrubsall, alternative milk buyer at Waitrose, said the retailer was planning to expand its alt-milk range to include potato milk.

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‘UK Robust Potato Pledge 2021’: Retailers commit to sustainable potatoes

Several key UK retailers have pledged to sell disease resistant organic potatoes, boosting sustainability and farm resilience for producers. Organic certification body the Soil Association developed its ‘UK Robust Potato Pledge 2021’ in a bid to help growers move away from potatoes that are susceptible to blight. Signees to the pledge have agreed to favour organic spuds that have been bred to be blight resistant.

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Lamb Weston’s top and bottom lines heading in different directions

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc.’s top and bottom lines headed in different directions during the first quarter of fiscal 2022. Sales rose 13% as foodservice and institutional businesses recovered around the world, but the company’s net income fell 67% for the quarter. “In the US, we continue to be encouraged by the pace of recovery in restaurant traffic and demand for fries,” Thomas P. Werner, president and chief executive officer said.

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U.S. potato sales strong in marketing year ‘unlike any other ever experienced’

The marketing year that ended in June 2021 was unlike any year the potato industry has ever experienced, says Potatoes USA in a news release issued today. “With pandemic restrictions ebbing and flowing from June 2020 to July 2021, sales at foodservice fluctuated while retail purchases remained extremely strong throughout the year,” the industry body says.

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Side Delights steps up to the plate as potato sales rise and consumers choose in-home dining

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). “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,” noted Kathleen Triou, President and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network.

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Potato demand improves in Ireland, European markets regain confidence

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) reports that retail and consumer demand have improved in the country this week as colder weather has returned and families are back into routines, following the holiday period. The hospitability sector continues to prosper despite the return of schools. European markets continue to regain confidence as economies are almost fully re-opened at this point.

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Recyclable and compostable packaging for bite-size potato category

Tasteful Selections recently announced the limited launch of its new 100-percent plastic-free, recyclable and compostable packaging in the US. “This new paper packaging with PaperLock™ technology is a major step forward in sustainable packaging. It offers light protection and natural absorption characteristics that protect our potatoes and help keep plastic out of the waste stream,” said Tim Huffcutt, vice-president, sales and marketing operations.

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