Retail

New horizons in frozen cuisine: McCain Foods and Strong Roots expand their strategic partnership

McCain Foods has reinforced its alliance with Dublin-based Strong Roots, aiming to offer more sustainable, vegetable-rich frozen foods globally. With investment since 2021, McCain seeks to transform the freezer aisle with Strong Roots’ planet-friendly dishes. Their partnership focuses on growth and sustainability, with initiatives like a brand advisory council and adherence to regenerative agriculture practices. McCain’s strategic moves include recent acquisitions to diversify and enhance their offerings.

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Irish potato growers call for protest action outside supermarkets

The Irish Farmers’ Association, led by President Francie Gorman, has support from potato growers to protest against supermarkets over complex Bord Bia audits. The issue, discussed at a National Potato Meeting, includes supermarkets adding audits per GLOBALG.A.P standards. The IFA plans to meet with food retailer CEOs soon, starting with TESCO Ireland.

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From Irish fields to European markets: Navigating potato production delays and export dynamics

The latest report from the Irish Farmers Association shows strong home consumption and retail trade for potatoes in Ireland. Planting is delayed, with virtually no sowing before St Patrick’s day and decreasing stock causing price increases. Across Europe, wet conditions have postponed early crop planting, though some areas like South West France now report better progress. Export demand fluctuates, reflecting diverse regional farming challenges.

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A green leap forward: Australian company’s sustainable potato bag wins top packaging award

Australian company Detpak has received the APPMA Packaging Design Innovation Award for their Kerbside Recyclable Paper Bag for Fresh Potatoes. In partnership with Mitolo Family Farms and Coles, they developed the recyclable bag, significantly cutting plastic use and fitting the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation’s sustainability criteria. Detpak celebrates this eco-friendly achievement as a step towards more sustainable grocery packaging solutions.

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PepsiCo products pulled from some Carrefour grocery stores in Europe over price increases

Carrefour supermarkets in France have ceased selling PepsiCo products due to price hikes. The ban will extend to Belgium, Spain, and Italy. Carrefour cited “unacceptable price increases” for popular items like Lay’s chips. PepsiCo, which has raised prices by double-digit percentages for seven consecutive quarters, stated it is in discussions with Carrefour. The French grocery chain has not specified when the ban will take effect in the other countries.

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Potato prices quadruple in Ukraine due to supply shortage and quality issues

Ukrainian potato prices have surged to 15-20 UAH/kg ($0.39-0.52/kg), representing an 11% increase from the end of 2023. This price spike is attributed to dwindling local supply, exacerbated by unfavorable weather and subpar seed potatoes. Market players anticipate further price hikes due to a potential scarcity of high-quality potatoes. The latest hike reflects a 3.9-fold increase from early January 2023.

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Global taste test: Original and Sour Cream & Onion reign supreme in Pringles popularity

A recent global review of top-selling Pringles flavors revealed that Original and Sour Cream & Onion are universally popular. Despite offering over 160 flavors worldwide, these two remain consistent best-sellers. Regional preferences shine through in unique flavors such as Pigs in Blanket in the UK and Egg Sandwich in Japan. Pringles enthusiasts are encouraged to share their favorites and suggest new flavors via the brand’s Instagram. Sales peak during events like the Super Bowl and Chinese New Year.

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Adapting to crisis: Evolution of the UK potato industry amidst unprecedented challenges

The British potato industry is facing a crisis due to COVID-19, the Ukraine conflict, inflation, and weather issues, leading to a significant drop in production. In response, potato suppliers like Wolds Produce are negotiating longer, more flexible contracts with manufacturers. Despite some support from crisp manufacturers, the sector struggles with reduced seed production and the lowest recorded crop yields, signaling potential price increases and industry consolidation ahead.

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UK’s AKP Group bolsters potato supply chain with strategic Wolds Produce buyout

AKP Group, a leading UK potato supply chain specialist, has acquired Wolds Produce, enhancing its operations in the crisping, chipping, and seed potato sectors. This strategic move aims to consolidate expertise, foster innovation, and build a robust supply chain to navigate the challenges of reduced grower numbers, rising costs, and climate volatility. The partnership promises uninterrupted service and growth opportunities for the UK potato industry, with both companies maintaining their commitment to quality and efficiency.

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The Little Potato Company’s festive campaign: A dash of happiness and a chance to win

The Little Potato Company, North America’s leading Creamer potato company, has launched the “A Little Holiday Happiness Is…” campaign, featuring online and POS sweepstakes running until January. Angela Santiago, CEO, emphasizes the campaign’s aim to bring joy and ease to families during the festive season. Amid rising food prices, the company offers a chance to win $1,000 in groceries, with 30 winners across the U.S. and Canada. Their Little Potatoes, which are pre-washed and require no peeling or cutting, promise convenience and deliciousness for holiday meals.

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Potatoes: The produce powerhouse driving retail success in the U.S.

Fresh potatoes have emerged as a consistent sales force in the U.S. produce sector, offering retailers vast opportunities for increased customer interaction. Data reveals that effective merchandising significantly boosts potato sales. With the highest household penetration among vegetables, purchased on average 10 times annually, potatoes enhance sales for other items too. Their contribution to the produce department ensures overall store success, making them a valuable asset for retailers.

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Idaho potato crop flourishes: Retailers to reap benefits

The 2023-24 season forecasts a robust Idaho potato crop, promising affordability and heightened promotional prospects for retailers. With a 12% increase in planted acres from the previous year, Idaho leads the U.S. in potato production growth. Despite price drops, the quality remains high, attributed to ideal weather conditions. Ross Johnson of the Idaho Potato Commission anticipates enhanced promotional opportunities, emphasizing the value potatoes present to consumers, especially in the upcoming economic climate.

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Dutch retailer PLUS taking a green turn? Introducing organic potatoes at regular prices

Dutch retailer PLUS is embarking on a shift towards organic potatoes in their fresh produce section. They’ve rolled out unprocessed organic potatoes in one-kilogram bags, interestingly priced the same as their non-organic counterparts. To ensure fairness, PLUS has committed to compensating farmers for the price difference. This initiative is in line with the Dutch government’s goal of achieving 15% organic farming land by 2030.

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Potato prices skyrocket in South Africa amid growing concerns about supply and food security

South African potato prices have surged, with a 10kg bag now costing R121 (6.25 euros), a 136% increase from last year, reports Carolize Jansen of FreshPlaza. Supply volumes have dropped by 46%. Other produce like bananas and pumpkins also face price hikes. Challenges such as water shortages and electricity issues plague farmers, raising concerns about food security and affordability in the region.

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‘Finding a needle in a potato sack’: Potato farmers prioritize inspection systems to ensure food safety

Farmers in North America, especially from Prince Edward Island (PEI), are prioritizing potato safety due to past incidents of metal contaminants in produce. In response, Fortress Technology introduced the Phantom metal detection system, designed to handle the unique challenges posed by potatoes. This system ensures high standards in the potato supply chain, emphasizing shared responsibility in food safety and the importance of upstream inspection to protect brands and guarantee consumer-safe products.

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Potato market booms: Northwestern States in the U.S. see significant sales growth in 2022

In 2022, the Northwestern U.S. witnessed a surge in potato sales, according to a report by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NAAS). Idaho’s sales rose by 35% to $1.41 billion, while Oregon and Washington saw increases of 12% and 33%, respectively. Although Idaho and Oregon’s potato production decreased by 9% and 2%, Washington’s grew by 4%. Collectively, these states contributed 61% to U.S. potato production. However, overall potato processing across eight states dipped by 1%.

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The ‘potato chronicles’: National Potato Council unpacking the latest in US potato industry trends

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.

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America’s ‘veggie king’: The unwavering popularity of potatoes

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.

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Celebrating potato product and packaging innovation, Sterman Masser Farms will exhibit at NEPC Expo

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.

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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.

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Potato chips back on Tasmanian menus after months of shortages

Tasmanian supermarkets are once again fully stocked with frozen chips [fries], bringing an end to a potato shortage that left chip bowls empty across the country between Christmas last year and just a few weeks ago, as Pulse Hobart reports. The local spud harvest is being fed through production plants owned by Simplot and McCain, refilling the freezers at supermarkets and takeaway shops.

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Australia’s Mitolo Family Farms develops sustainable paper packaging for fresh potatoes

Mitolo Family Farms, Australia’s potato and onion category leader, has partnered with Australian supermarket chain Coles, as well as global innovators in sustainable packaging solutions Detpak, to create what is believed to be Australia’s first curbside recyclable paper bag for fresh potatoes. The new Gourmandine paper packaging extends on previous sustainability steps taken by Mitolo Family Farms, as the company previously cut its use of plastic packaging in 2022.

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U.S. frozen potatoes lead surge in retail sales despite overall volume decrease

Potato retail sales from January-March 2023 increased by 16% in dollar terms in the U.S., despite a 4.4% volume decrease. According to Potatoes USA, frozen potatoes led sales growth, up by 41.9%, followed by instant and fresh potatoes. However, volume sales for instant and refrigerated potatoes declined significantly. All fresh potato types except white, fingerling, and purple saw increased dollar sales. The average price per pound for fresh potatoes rose 18.7%. Bagged potatoes less than two pounds were the only category to see both dollar and volume growth.

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Potatoes USA: A look at 2022 retail potato sales

Potato retail sales increased in dollar sales by 14.4% but decreased in volume sales by -1.5% from January – December 2022 compared to 2021. Despite a slight decrease in volume sales, volume sales remain 3.7% above pre-pandemic levels, says Potatoes USA in a news update. All categories of potatoes increased in dollar sales, with four potato categories rising by double digits. In addition to increasing dollar sales, refrigerated and canned increased volume sales by 0.7% and 2.8%, respectively. Fresh potato dollar sales were up for all types except purple potatoes.

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U.S. potato retail sales on the rise: Dollar sales increase 17.2% in Q4 2022

Potato retail sales increased in dollar sales by 17.2% but decreased in volume sales by -1.3% from October – December 2022 compared to the same timeframe a year ago. Despite a slight decrease in volume sales, volume sales remain above pre-pandemic levels, according to a report by Potatoes USA. All categories of potatoes increased in dollar sales, with the most significant occurring for frozen potatoes by 33.1%, followed by fresh potato sales at 20% and instant potatoes at 14.5%.

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Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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