In 2020, HZPC Americas launched the multi-year project ‘Potato Glory’ together with the University of Massachusetts Dining Program (UMass) for the purpose of conducting research and to provide students and employees with information on potatoes. This kills two birds with one stone: UMass learns more about potatoes, and HZPC gains more insight into opinions and behaviour in relation to potato consumption.
World Potato Congress President John Griffin is pleased to announce Potatoes USA as the organization’s newest Gold Sustaining Partner. “The support of Potatoes USA under the leadership of CEO Blair Richardson, who also serves as a WPC International Advisor, will continue to propel WPC forward in our mandates. These include planning for the first ever International Potato Day and in promoting the 2024 Congress, to be held in Adelaide, Australia,” Griffin said in a news release issued earlier today.
Across the globe, restaurants are back to operating at normal capacity, borders are opening for tourism, and many consumers are looking for high-quality, nutritious food options, all leading to strong demand for U.S. potatoes, according to Potatoes USA. Fresh exports were up in some major markets, including Mexico, up nearly 7%. Fresh exports also increased to the Central American region by over 50% and South Korea by 180%.
It’s “very likely” Australia will face a potato shortage in coming months, the vice-president of horticulture at the Victorian Farmers’ Federation has warned. Kathryn Myers from the Victorian Farmers’ Federation says recent wet weather means farmers haven’t been able to plant potato crops. “It’s just not been possible to get tractors on the ground to work up our paddocks to put potatoes in,” she told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell in an interview.
A survey from The Packer magazine is seeking input for the publication’s Nov. 14 “Potato and Onion Marketing” section, as Tom Karst, Editor Emeritus at The Packer reports. Marketers who handle potatoes and/or onions are encouraged to give their perspectives on their company’s respective market plans and outlook.
RPE, LLC introduces a new potato, onion, and sweet potato commodity brand – Farmer’s Promise Serving Up Confidence®. The company says in a press release the brand bridges the gap between the farmer and the consumer using an omni channel strategy – digital media, in-store merchandising, QR codes and online connections. In less than a year, Farmer’s Promise is already a Top 10 national brand with higher sales productivity than historic brands.
McCain enters the Metaverse: Introducing ‘Regen Fries’, new partnerships to educate consumers on regenerative farming
McCain Foods is entering the Metaverse and introducing new ‘Regen Fries’ as part of the #SaveOurSoil initiative. Regen Fries are made with potatoes that are grown using regenerative farming methods which build soil health, improve biodiversity, and enhance on-farm resilience to climate change. McCain has committed to reimagining ways to grow potatoes that are ‘beneficial for both the planet and the communities in which it operates’.
Toronto-based EarthFresh is thrilled to be back in person at the IFPA Global Produce & Floral Show in Orlando this week. “We are excited to show our customers, suppliers and industry friends our full line of conventional and organic potato offerings, sweet potatoes and our new innovative value-added product line, ‘Fast. Fresh. Gourmet’,” says Jessica Hughes, director of innovation.
Side Delights completed a package refresh and will showcase the new line at the IFPA Global Produce and Floral Show in Orlando on October 28-29, 2022. “We designed this packaging refresh using feedback from retailers and consumers, from a wide range of demographics and generations – from Gen Z to Boomers,” noted Kathleen Triou, president and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network.
MountainKing has launched a re-brand of one of its popular, gourmet varietals with the introduction of its Butter Cream Potatoes, now available in three-pound poly mesh bags, the company says in a recent news release. “The new Butter Cream name speaks to the attributes of this yellow-flesh variety in a way that resonates with the shopper,” says Andreas Trettin, marketing director for MountainKing.
Potatoes USA says in its latest monthly newsletter that potato retail sales increased in dollar sales but decreased in volume sales from July 2021 – June 2022, compared to the same timeframe a year ago. As consumer prices increased by 10.5%, retail dollar sales increased by 5.7%. The total volume sales decreased 4.4% from the same time a year ago, but they remained above volume sales prior to the pandemic. Dollar sales have continuously increased over the last five years.
Members of the Global Culinary Innovators Association (GCIA) learned about potato trends and witnessed a culinary demonstration at the Potatoes USA Spud Lab in late August. While visiting the Potatoes USA Spud Lab during their event, they received an overview of potato trends in foodservice and useful resources about potatoes.
Food and beverage company PepsiCo India has launched its premium potato chips brand Lay’s Gourmet in India to tap into the growing market for premium snacks in the country, according to a news story published by the website Mint. Consumers in India have been moving up to better, more premium products as affluent households grow in size. In the top metros too such households are driving demand for more niche food and beverage brands.
Fresh Solutions Network reveals potato farmers’ role in providing reliable, nutritious and affordable food
With increased focus on food security, inflation, and health, potatoes continue to gain popularity and grow in demand. Fresh Solutions Network announced the important role of their network of farmers and potato products. Fresh Solutions Network is a group of independent, family-owned farms that grow, pack, sell and deliver fresh potatoes and onions to customers across the US.
Frito-Lay snacking survey: Consumers go beyond just flavors, look to companies’ promises when choosing a snack
The latest U.S. Trend Index from Frito-Lay polled consumers on their snacking preferences and priorities and found that the 90 percent of consumers who snack daily care about the companies whose snacks they’re eating. Snack companies’ attention to sustainability practices (77 percent), community impact around food access (78 percent), and treatment of employees (87 percent) are among the top values driving purchasing decisions.
‘In the trenches of the potato industry’: New Idaho Potato Commission CEO ‘a potato guy through and through’
In as much as it’s possible, Jamey Higham, the new president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission, has potatoes in his blood. Higham, who in February took over leadership of the commission that promotes the state’s most famous product, was born and raised in Shelley, the epicenter of potato production in Idaho.
With many countries around the globe relaxing restrictions and showing signs of recovery from the pandemic, demand for U.S. potato exports is strong in many markets. Potatoes USA says in a news release that during the first three quarters of the marketing year (July 2021-March 2022), overall U.S. potato and potato product exports increased from the same period one year earlier.
A substantial new two-year marketing campaign to promote Belgian processed potatoes is launching for the UK retail and foodservice sectors under initiative of VLAM, the Flanders’ Agricultural Marketing Board. “Belgian processed potato products are a strong and proven solution for retailers and caterers, with excellent quality in-home and out-of-home options to meet consumer trends, said Katrien De Nul, promotion manager at VLAM.
Sustainability and climate change continue to be a part of the conversation, both in policy discussions and within the potato supply chain. During Potato Expo 2022, the hosts of the National Potato Council’s Eye on Potatoes Podcast sat down with two of the industry’s sustainability leaders who are working to ensure the potato industry remains at the front of agriculture’s sustainability success story.
Potatoes from the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island are once again rolling down the highway to the United States, with the first truckloads arriving in the Boston area Tuesday morning. As Nancy Russell reports for CBC News, exporters began loading their trucks on Monday, three days after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the potatoes would be permitted south of the border and four months after the ban was first imposed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Gwillimdale Farms is pleased to announce the debut of a brand new and fully automated potato grading system – equipped with artificial intelligence – to its one-stop shop. This new system has multiple different parameters set to meet the required specifications of size, volume, shape, grade, and deviation. The investment allows a big move toward sustainable agriculture and reducing food waste.
Potato sales from January to December 2021 increased compared to the same period in 2019, before the pandemic, but could not keep up with consumers’ increased time spent in home kitchens during 2020, according to Potatoes USA. The industry body says volume sales increased almost 5% compared to the more normalized time of 2019.
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.
A mix of drought in Canada’s prairies and flooding on its Pacific coast have brought about crop production and shipping woes now leading to international shortages of fries and mustard. In Japan, for example, McDonald’s has been forced to ration fries as the British Columbia floods squeezed potato imports, while mustard producers in France are forecasting steep price increases because the drought in another part of Canada – the world’s biggest producer of mustard grains – cut supplies.
It was a good year for Canada’s potato farmers in 2021 with seeded and harvested acres and yields reaching levels not seen for more than a decade, according to Statistics Canada estimates. However, significant challenges remain with Prince Edward Island, the nation’s largest producer, dealing with an export ban while a tough weather year in the west might mean production will fall short of being able to meet an increase in processing capacity.
A new partnership could see Ireland back producing significant amounts of chips for chip shops and distributors throughout the country. As Tamara Fitzpatrick reports for the Independent, O’Shea Farms from Piltown, Co Kilkenny have joined forces with Meadowfresh Foods in Tallow, Co Waterford to market and supply fresh Irish chipping potatoes.
Chippy Chat and Isle of Ely Produce, both based in Ely Cambs in the UK, won big at the recent National Potato Awards 2021, presented at a celebratory dinner on the first night of the British Potato 2021 event. They won the marketing award for work linking fish and chip shop owners and growers in the UK, and was collected by Austen Dack, Managing Editor of Chippy Chat, and Oliver Boutwood, Isle of Ely Produce Director.