The year 2020 has been unprecedented in many ways and has been extremely challenging for fresh produce suppliers, retailers, and shoppers, writes Raul Fernandez, President of Breakthrough Solutions, in an article published by Produce Business. Looking ahead, the following summarizes the top consumer trends for produce suppliers in the coming year. Fernandez identifies seven essential trends.
While restaurants across the US continue to open, more Americans are still cooking at home more now than they did before the pandemic began. Consumers reported cooking slightly less than half of their meals at home before the onset of COVID-19. Not surprisingly, this increased to 66% in April 2020 and remained elevated at 54% as of August – which Cooking Light magazine referred to as “The year everyone learned to cook at home.”
It seems like most U.S. consumers agree that a McDonald’s meal is not complete without a side of hot, crispy, golden fries — a savory formula the Golden Arches has mostly preserved since it was first introduced decades ago. In 2020, the U.S. fast food chain used more than 3 billion pounds of potatoes — serving enough french fries to circle the equator 437 times if laid end to end, and make 22 round trips to the moon. But what makes them so addictive?
Bancroft, Wis.-based RPE will soon roll out a new compostable bag for its potatoes, according to a report by Ashley Nickle for The Packer. Randy Shell, vice president of business and program development, said at the Southern Exposure event that the company has been testing for about eight months a compostable bag for its potatoes. Shell said RPE has almost perfected the packaging and will be launching it shortly.
If consumers “eat with their eyes first”, you could say that packaging is the main course. As such, communicating your brand through a unique package can be one of the most powerful tools in the produce aisle. Idaho based ProSource Produce is well aware of this and recently released the first images of its new branded Idaho russet potato packaging.
One year after making its first COVID-19 relief delivery to the Houston Food Bank, MountainKing has now shipped more than 1.6 million pounds of fresh potatoes to the non-profit organization dedicated to providing nutritious meals to those in need. “For years, MountainKing has been a supporter of the Houston Food Bank and its mission of providing food for better lives,” notes Andreas Trettin, the company’s director of marketing.
In 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring drew attention to pesticides and their possible dangers to humans, birds, mammals and the environment. Some of her conclusions and warnings have not held up over time, but Silent Spring produced a movement that changed how the U.S. thought about chemicals and biotechnology.
Driving toward a goal of using more sustainable materials in packaging, two Alexia Organic Potatoes brand products from potato producer Lamb Weston will use corn and potato starch in their packaging beginning in April 2021. The new packaging is partially made of potato starches.
AHDB Arable analyst, Thomma Shepherd, provides an analysis of what has driven potato markets over the last few weeks. She says the weekly average price survey, covering all sectors of the industry, shows potatoes have had a depressed few months, lagging behind previous seasons. The 2nd wave of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has killed a lot of demand for potatoes. With the majority of hospitality closed along with schools there has been little optimism within the industry.
For many Aussies, it’s hard to believe there was a moment in time when Smith’s chips didn’t exist. With 90 years of rich Australian history, there’s no better time to celebrate those that have made Smith’s the nation’s favourite chip brand for almost a century. Danny Celoni, Chief Executive Officer of parent company PepsiCo ANZ, said this year marks a significant milestone for the brand. As a category leader, Smith’s continues to innovate by extending into new formats and segments as consumers continue to seek new flavours and experiences.
A marketing strategy that works: Idahoan Foods reached nearly 5 million new households since start of pandemic
Idahoan Foods saw sales of its fresh-dried mashed potato products rise during the pandemic as consumers cooked more meals at home. Consumers embraced more time at home by experimenting with new recipes, reaching for global flavors as a way to explore other cultures, and showed off their skills on social media. Idahoan tapped into these rapidly evolving consumer trends and pivoted marketing strategies throughout the year in order to connect with new households and keep encouraging consumers.
Some Utz Brands buyers are opting for snacks with healthier ingredients such as the avocado oil used to cook the Boulder Canyon potato chips, Utz Brands CEO Dylan Lissette told CNBC. The snack company has been rebranding and developing the Boulder Canyon chips since it bought its manufacturer Inventure Foods in 2017, said Lissette on CNBC’s Mad Money. “We’ve got a lot of excitement around those ‘better for you brands’,” Lissette said.
Throughout 2019, pre-packed potatoes lost out to loose potatoes as consumer concerns around plastic rose. However, as the coronavirus pandemic hit, this reversed, according to a report by Rebecca Gladman, Retail Insight Manager at AHDB. She reports that pre-packed potatoes’ share of volume reached 94.4% in the 12 w/e 21 Feb 2021 – an increase pof 1.6 percentage points on 2020 and the highest level it’s been at for around five years (Kantar).
Anyone who’s had Belgian fries after a night of drinking Belgian beer can certainly understand their appeal. And Belgian chip shops are trying to make sure that that experience can be had for future generations – by applying for UNESCO status. Belgian beer has already had that status for half a decade at this point – and now it’s fries’ turn to follow suit, says the umbrella organization that represents the owners of Belgian fry kiosks.
“A household name in snack foods started with one man, a dream, and a black kettle in Lancaster, Pennsylvania,” says an ABC television news anchor earlier today. She referred to Herr’s Chips that is rooted and based in Chester County and is still run by the same family. Herr’s are celebrating a milestone anniversary: 75 years, and it all started with a classic potato chip.
Lidl Ireland and its supplier, Meade Farm, have introduced an exclusive limited edition range of Irish Gold Potatoes which have hit stores just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Supplied exclusively to Lidl by their long-term supplier, Meade Farm, these premium unique white potatoes were grown by Meath-based Gibbstown Farm and have a distinct taste and traditional heritage, the discounter said.
A move to cut down on food waste by selling unwashed potatoes – and in doing so potentially double their shelf-life – is being launched by Tesco, the company says in a press release. In doing so, it will help cut down on what waste advisory action group WRAP, say are the UK’s single most wasted food in the home.
A new video campaign has been launched by Potatoes USA to help combat meal fatigue and show consumer the many different meals that can be prepared using potatoes. Retail potato sales saw tremendous growth in 2020 as consumers stocked their pantries in March and beyond.
In time for National Chip And Dip Day on 23 March, Nature’s Eats – a brand of Texas Star Nut & Food Company – is launching Nutchos, all-natural grain free chips made from almonds. According to Nature’s Eats. the novel chips are a great option for those wanting to Nature’s Eats, their chips are a great option for those who want to snack “more mindfully”.
PepsiCo’s North America Frito-Lay unit is launching the first TV campaign for its Ruffles brand of ridged potato chips in almost a decade, while extending its marketing partnerships with star basketball players. Snack foods have seen stronger sales growth in the past year as homebound consumers do more of their own cooking during the pandemic. To help maintain that sales momentum, Frito-Lay has ramped up its marketing efforts with higher-profile campaigns.
The joint venture behind Mackie
Challenger brand Mindful Snacker is promising to make 2021
Side Delights revealed recently released trend data on the growing focus on the health benefits of foods and the impact it has on consumer behavior. Since the inception of the pandemic, healthy-eating and immunity has continued to gain importance with consumers, and it shows in their shopping habits. Side Delights says its potatoes are grown in the best potato growing areas, stored in high-tech storage facilities, and packed and delivered close to customers/final mile experts.
“As biotech giant Bayer prepares to spend $10 billion settling thousands of lawsuits alleging its weedkiller Roundup (and its active ingredient glyphosate) causes cancer, we
Covid-19 delivered a Christmas like no other. National and local lockdowns created a lot of uncertainty during the run up to the festive period, with many Christmas plans forced to change last minute due to government restrictions. The industry body says all that uncertainty did not stop people from celebrating. 2020 was the biggest ever Christmas in the UK for food retail, with food and drink sales excluding alcohol growing by
Total potato sales at retail were at five-year record highs for both dollar and volume sales in 2020, according to a press release issued by Potatoes USA today. The industry body says dollar sales increased by 16% compared to 2019 and all categories, except deli-prepared sides, grew by double-digit dollar sales. Fresh potato sales increased by almost 21% in dollars and 15% in volume. All types increased in dollar and volume sales by at least 6%.