In Ireland, potato home consumption and retail sales have stabilized due to colder weather, as per the Irish Farmers Association. New season Rooster potatoes are entering the market, but harvesting is tough due to late planting effects. In the UK, maincrop buyers aim to revert prices to contract levels, with more growers storing crops. France’s crop yield is predicted to be slightly below the decade’s average, with potential tight supplies in Europe due to increased demand.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
During the U.S.-Japan bilateral talks from September 25-29, the U.S. potato sector, spearheaded by National Potato Council’s CEO Kam Quarles, will push for broader access to Japan’s fresh potato market. Although the U.S. has exported chipping potatoes to Japan since 2006, there’s a drive to expand into the overall fresh potato segment, which could yield an additional $150-$200 million in yearly exports. This initiative has bipartisan backing from Congress.
Weird news: Walkers creates world’s biggest ‘billboard’ by turning 30,000 potato plants into huge advert
Walkers has created the world’s biggest-ever ‘billboard’ – a 73,532 square foot ‘cropvert’ – created in a British potato field. Yorkshire-based potato farmer Tim Rodwell helped the crisp brand turn roughly 30,000 potato plant into its biggest and most unusual campaign to date. The artwork is so big it’s visible from space, and outsizes the biggest standing billboard in the world – which covers 67,382 square feet.
The U.S. potato export market has achieved record-breaking success, with a 19.05% increase in value to USD 2.2 billion and a 3.85% rise in volume to 3.3 million metric tons. This comprehensive growth spans various potato categories, including frozen, fresh, and dehydrated products. Year-over-year data also shows an 11% increase from the previous year, highlighting the industry’s resilience and potential for future expansion. The report offers valuable insights for stakeholders and policy-makers.
South Africa showcases its deep-rooted appreciation for the potato as it eagerly anticipates National Potato Day on August 19. This event not only celebrates the culinary versatility of the tuber but also highlights its significance in the nation’s diet and culture. As the day approaches, South Africans are preparing to honor the humble spud, reflecting its cherished status from farm to feast. The nation’s potato pride is truly unparalleled.
PotatoNext, the new independent cooperative formed by Agrico, Nedato, and Leo de Kock, is set to revolutionize the potato industry. With a fresh new logo and corporate identity, PotatoNext aims to bring together the entire process of potato production, from planting to consumption. Led by experienced directors Jan Bijleveld and Mariska Werring, the cooperative’s management team is committed to driving growth and success. Stay tuned for more updates on the benefits and developments this collaboration will bring to growers, customers, and suppliers.
Sterman Masser Potato Farms will present its Side Delights Petite potatoes at the NEPC Expo in Boston from August 21-22, 2023. These U.S. No.1 grade potatoes come in various colors and innovative packaging. Additionally, Masser introduces its sustainable Bioflex packaging, which decomposes in modern landfills. Lela Reichart, the Executive Director of Marketing, emphasizes Masser’s commitment to quality and sustainability, inviting attendees to experience their innovations at Booth #425.
U.S. potatoes prove resilient: Retail dollar sales hit $16.9 billion for the 52-week period 2022-2023
U.S. retail potato sales soared 16.8% from July 2022 to June 2023, reaching a five-year high of $16.9 billion. Despite a 19.9% price increase, potatoes remained affordable at $2.36/pound. All potato categories, including frozen, canned, and fresh, saw growth in dollar sales. Russet potatoes led the fresh category with a 23.5% sales increase, while larger pack sizes faced declines.
GRIMME has launched a redesigned digital marketplace for new, used, and rental machinery. Developed with input from customers, partners, and employees, the platform features an enhanced design, advanced search functions, and detailed machine listings. Integrated with the GRIMME Resell App and “Maschinen Park Online” (MPO), the marketplace hosts over 800 ads, positioning itself as a leading platform in root crop technology.
McCain’s soil health mission: A story of french fries, regenerative agriculture, and a beloved TV character
On National French Fry Day, McCain, the world’s largest french fry producer, is using the revival of a beloved TV character, Barb, to demonstrate the potential of regenerative agriculture in restoring eroded farmland. McCain aims to apply regenerative practices to all its potato farms by 2030, promoting farm resilience, crop diversity, and reduced chemical impacts.
The UW-Madison CALS Agricultural Research Stations are hosting a series of public events during the summer to share research updates and educational information with agricultural professionals and home gardeners. This summer is particularly significant as it marks the 175th anniversary of the University of Wisconsin, with field days recognizing past achievements alongside current and future innovations. A notable collaboration in the late 1990s led to the development of the environmentally friendly Healthy Grown brand of potatoes.
A panel of five Generation Z consumers shared their attitudes and buying habits toward food, including their perception of potatoes at the Potatoes USA annual meeting. The panelists discussed the factors that influenced their food choices and how they use social media platforms. to find recipe inspiration. Their preferences varied, but some of them were health-conscious and preferred home-cooked meals. There’s an opportunity to educate this generation on their benefits.
In April 2023, Potatoes USA hosted the Foodservice and Retail Reverse Trade Mission with 75 global stakeholders. Visiting Washington State, participants learned about U.S. potato cultivation, processing, marketing, and export through farm visits, plant tours, educational presentations, networking, and port and retail tours. The event aimed to foster industry relationships and bolster international trade, with participants expressing interest in procuring U.S. potatoes.
Side Delights has introduced Spuds, a new line of “less-than-perfect” potatoes aimed at value- and sustainability-conscious consumers. By offering these cosmetically imperfect yet nutritious and tasty potatoes, the company aims to combat food waste while providing cost-effective options for shoppers. Kathleen Triou, President and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network, said: “Spuds was created for environmentally conscious, food-waste-minded shoppers who understand that potatoes can still be nutritious and taste delicious even if they are cosmetically challenged.”
Please join the World Potato Congress Inc. in welcoming its April webinar panelists from Potatoes USA: Blair Richardson, President & CEO, and Kim Breshears, Chief Marketing Officer, Potatoes USA. The webinar will be hosted on Wednesday April 19, 2023. The webinar will focus on how Potatoes USA is changing the narrative about the healthfulness of potatoes.
Record-breaking $2.1 billion U.S. potato exports in 2022: Surging demand amid global inflation and tight supply
In 2022, U.S. potato exports reached a record $2.1 billion in sales. Compared to 2021, volume sales declined -4.2% but were higher than 2018 and 2020 (fresh weight equivalent), according to a market report issued by Potatoes USA earlier today. According to the report, the value of U.S. potato exports rose across all potato types (frozen, fresh, dehydrated, seed, and chips), resulting in an 11% increase from the previous year.
‘Potato surprises’: Successful EU campaign continues to promote potatoes among millennials until 2025
Following the success of the promotional campaign “Potatoes, prepare to be surprised – Europe’s favourite since 1536,” which launched in 2020 and concluded at the end of last year, Bord Bia, Europatat, and VLAM have decided to extend the program’s activities for three more years. This joint initiative, co-financed by the European Commission under the EU Promotion policy, will run until December 2025 to promote fresh potato consumption among millennials in Belgium, France, and Ireland.
On March 14, 2023, the United States Department of Agriculture conducted a swearing-in ceremony for 30 producer members and two importers to join the Potatoes USA Board of Directors during its Annual Meeting. In a display of commitment to the potato industry, the USDA appointed 16 new members and reappointed 16 members to the Board to serve three-year terms, expiring February 28, 2026.
In 2006, the United States opened the Japanese market for fresh U.S. chipping potatoes. For the first time since World War II, potatoes grown in the U.S. could be exported to Japan and processed into potato chips. The U.S. potato industry now wishes to turn its attention to the bigger goal of opening the Japanese market for fresh U.S. table-stock potatoes.