Fresh/ Table

Marketing success: ‘Bud the Spud’

Between May and July this year AHDB’s marketing team ran a successful campaign which aimed to keep potatoes relevant to consumers while educating them about their versatility, ease of use and health benefits, the organization says in a recent news article. In response to the market dynamics created by COVID-19, AHDB says there was a need to create additional demand in retail and drive volume in sales to attempt to make up for some of the losses through foodservice. Bud the Spud’ was part of a marketing campaign (More Than a Bit on the Side) with proven positive results.

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Side Delights offers solutions to consumers choosing to celebrate the holidays at home

As the ‘no travel’ trend continues into the holidays, Side Delights offers easy solutions for consumers choosing to stay home or close to home this holiday season. In a recent study, 58% of consumers are not planning to travel for the holiday season—up from 49% last year. In August, data showed that winter holiday bookings were 65.4% behind where they were around a similar time period in 2019.

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Washington State potato losses top $1 billion, according to study

Total losses from the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the Washington State’s potato industry is estimated to top $1 billion, according to a study by Washington State University. Farmers have lost about $29.2 million from the drop in demand and quality of the 2019 harvest, according to the release. Acreage for the 2020 fall harvest dropped 13%, which represents a drop of more than 729,000 tons of potatoes, according to the commission.

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UK: Uncertainty surrounding potential stricter lockdown measures hampers potato trade

According to the latest Potato Weekly report published by AHDB in the UK on Friday, the past week has seen free-buy trade fall once again. AHDB Analyst Alex Cook reports that movement of supplies on contract continues to hold the majority in potato markets. Repeat orders, in some cases with lower volumes, form the common comments this week rather than fresh demand. Anticipation and uncertainty surrounding a potential re-imposing of stricter lockdown measures has seen some purchasers await further information before placing orders, meaning demand has subdued.

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Kent’s Provenance Potatoes launches 2kg family bags

Kent based Provenance Potatoeshttp://www.provenance-potatoes.co.uk/ is launching a 2kg retail pack, brilliantly sized for store shelves in farm shops and independent retailers across the South of the UK. The new retail pack is the perfect size for families, with the added bonus that the potatoes are locally grown and packed and support British farmers. All Provenance Potatoes are washed, graded and packed using only the finest potatoes from the heart of Kent.

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British fans of ‘grow your own’ fruit and veg urged to test soil for safety before eating lockdown harvest

Britain’s legions of ‘grow your own’ gardeners are being urged to ensure their soil is safe before they consume their hard-earned harvest. The UK’s love affair with gardening has flourished amid lockdown as more people took up the hobby and began to grow their own fruit and vegetables. But a firm set up to test domestic soil quality has urged caution before garden enthusiasts enjoy their first crops. A spokesman for SafeSoil UK said in a recent press release: “With the UK’s proud industrial heritage the reality is that many of the plots of land that gardeners are using to grow their crops have a back-story that can mean contamination in the soil.

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British potato prices weak as Covid-19 fears remain

Many potatoes are in pretty good shape given the growing season they have had, but growers will be less impressed with the prices they are getting as Covid-19 continues to dominate the market, reports Cedric Porter of World Potato Markets for Farmers Guardian. Prices remain depressed. Early season values are as low as €20/t (£18/t) because of a large carry-over of stocks from last season.

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Colorado’s Skyline Potato starts 2020 on optimistic note

Just days before his Center, CO, operation kicked off its 2020 San Luis Valley potato season, Skyline Potato Co. General Manager Les Alderete said he was optimistic about the overall market situation and the coming year. “We’re hoping for a decent year,” Alderete said in mid-August, adding that although the summer had been hot and dry, the growing season was good and harvest weather forecasts were also favorable. He did say that water in the San Luis Valley is “tight” after a short snowpack.

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Isle of Ely Produce created ‘chip ambassador scheme’ to help promote the Great British chip

Isle of Ely Produce have created a chip ambassador scheme, consisting of shop owners and fryers who will promote best practice for potato buying, storing and frying, reports Daniel Mason for Elystandard. The Ely company aims to continue the work it has done through their open days and the ‘field to frier’ award it sponsors at the national fish and chip awards. As part of the scheme, chip ambassadors will be used to sample new varieties that come into the market brought by potato distributor Agrico and Isle of Ely, such as Babylon and Lugano.

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RPE to bring the new Golden Red premium potato variety to consumers this fall

Wisconsin-based RPE, Inc. — a full service grower, shipper, marketer of fresh potatoes — announced today that it is bringing a new, premium red potato variety to potato consumers this fall. “RPE Golden Red™ premium potatoes are the new gold standard in red potatoes,” said Tim Huffcutt, Vice President Sales and Marketing Operations for RPE. “Compared to common red potatoes, these superior stunners have a vibrant red skin with a rich, yellow interior and a sweet, creamy taste.”

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Ireland: Quieter potato market; cheap UK imports undermine prices

According to the weekly Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Potato Market Report, the potato market has been quieter as of late but this is typical for the time of year. Demand will return to normal as we approach September. The fresh chip market in the U.K.is still below par due to the impact of Covid 19. This has also impacted the market in Ireland due to cheap UK imports and a weaker sterling which are undermining local grower prices.

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Nutritious and satisfying: Potatoes USA explains the versatile potato

With consumer demand increasing for plant-based menu options, now is the time to put more spuds on your menu. Potatoes are a staple in nearly every cultural cuisine, so they’re uniquely suited to deliver today’s most craved global flavours, says Potatoes USA in this article prepared by Caterer Middle East staff. Being naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low in sodium, this makes potatoes the perfect product for a healthy diet.

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UK: 2019/20 international potato trade drops

The latest HMRC trade data covers up to June 2020 giving the full season of July-June 2019/20. Data shows that both imports and exports of potatoes (both fresh and frozen) were down year-on-year and against the 3-year average, reports Alice Bailey, Senior Analyst Potatoes at AHDB. Imports of fresh and processed potatoes (product weight) for the 2019/20 season totalled 1.03Mt. This is down 10% from the 3-year average and 33% year-on-year. Exports of fresh and processed potatoes have also dropped off. Exports of fresh potatoes have been tracking well behind both the 2018/19 season and the 3-year average since February.

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Increased uncertainty for food service as Ireland imposes new regional lockdowns

According to this week’s Potato Market Report published by the Irish Farmers’ Association, there is increased uncertainty for the food service sector as the country enters into a new phase of regional lockdowns. Counties Laois, Kildare and Offaly are impacted by the lockdown. Liftings of new season prepacked Rooster are beginning this week and should be on the shelves in the coming days. Any remaining Rooster stock continues to clear. Across Europe different lockdowns measures imposed continue to cause market disruption.

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Trending: Potato prices are rising in the US

Potato prices are rising as last year’s crop finishes from storage and the new crop gets higher volume into the pipeline. The summer is a contrast to 10 weeks ago when the potato market was reeling from the effects of the pandemic, which saw foodservice demand drop and prices cut in half from March to May, according to a report published by Blue Book Services. Compared to the last two years, the volume for this period is very similar, said Raul Lopez, agronomist and vice president of Agtools Inc.

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New ACC Canada Gold-Dorée ‘could soon outstrip Yukon Gold’

There’s a new potato in town and its name is AAC Canada Gold-Dorée. The new spud is yellow-skinned, pleasantly round, and, some say, even tastier than Yukon Gold. AAC Canada Gold-Dorée may just be setting the new gold standard for the fresh potato market in the country, reports Emily Leeson in Farm Focus. She writes that the new variety is licensed by New Brunswick-based and family-owned Canadian Eastern Growers Inc., which acquired the North American rights for 20 years back in 2017.

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Resurgence in Northern Ireland’s potato consumption

The latest Kantar figures confirm that Northern Ireland’s potato packing sector has grown by 3.9% over the past year in terms of total turnover. All the sector’s key parameters: including frequency of purchase and volumes purchased per retail visit are all up with one very obvious exception, according to a report by Farming Life. Wilson’s Country managing director Lewis Cunningham takes up the story: “The average price of potatoes in the shops has fallen over the past 12 months.

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Australia’s Mitolo gets green light to acquire Thomas Foods International potato business

Declining consumption of potatoes in Australia is not enough reason to block the sale of Thomas Foods International’s potato packing business to fellow South Australian-based rival Mitolo, says the national competition regulator. “Feedback from potato growers and other industry participants suggested if Mitolo sought to lower prices it paid growers, most producers would be able to switch to rival packing sheds,” said ACCC deputy chairman Mick Keogh.

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‘Game changer’: New potato variety on track to achieve 2 million tubers/ha

A next generation salad potato variety is on track to achieve 2 million tubers per hectare, bringing with it the potential to become a new market leader. according to a report by FarmingUK. The variety Jacky. developed by Agrico, is said to be on target to produce 2 million tubers per hectare with 65% sized 25-35mm yielding 50tonne/hectare overall. Jacky is a high-yielding second early potato variety. Bred to consistently produce round tubers below 45mm with pale yellow flesh, it is seen as ideal for the UK’s salad market.

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Retail potato sales soar in the US

Potatoes USA reports that retail potato sales are soaring, increasing 31% in dollar sales and 32% in volume sales between March 16, 2020 and June 14, 2020, according to IRI. All potato categories across the retail store, except deli-prepared sides, increased in dollar and volume sales, Potatoes USA says in a press release. The majority of potato categories saw double-digit growth in both dollar sales and volume sales. Dehydrated potatoes had the largest increase in dollar and volume sales. Dollar sales increased by 59%, and volume sales increased by 49%.

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Potatoes USA pulls back the curtain on consumer buying behaviors

Potatoes remain a leading category staple at retail. As growers keep pace with increasing demand, Potatoes USA continues to bring value for both growers and retailers. Lilian Diep, writer for AndNowUknow got in touch with the organization to learn more about the initiatives and studies that will take place this upcoming fiscal year. “We’re working on a couple of things over this next year. Right now, all of our retail growers are moving at full capacity to bring products into stores,” Kayla Dome, Marketing Manager, said.

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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