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%.
IFA: Food service to see increased business in Ireland, EU potato sales to the UK up
Retail sales remain unchanged this week in Ireland, the food service sector should see some increased business with the bank holiday weekend. In Europe, fresh markets are reported to be flat but there is good export movement. Sales of product from the E.U. to the U.K were 818,418 tonnes and up 13.2% in the year to October 2022.
‘Green chips’: McCain invests further £35m in sustainable farming in the UK
McCain has today confirmed a further £35m of investment in its supply chain, as it seeks to boost supplies of UK potatoes and bolster its regenerative farming initiatives. McCain says its indexation model for determining payments to the farmers who supply the company had resulted in a 31 per cent increase in contract pricing to “ensure its growers continue to be fairly compensated in light of soaring inflation”.
Despite challenges, spuds remain a billion-dollar business in New Zealand
Data from 2021 presented in the Potatoes New Zealand (PNZ) annual report shows minimal impact on production despite a rough couple of years. However, potato growers across the country say they have continued to navigate regional plan changes, restrictive government policies, ongoing pest challenges, weather events and rising costs of production.
NEPG: Potato growers face a multitude of risks, disruptions in the industry expected in the near future
The North Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) organization says potato growers in its member countries face multiple risks and these risks seem to increase each season. Apart from uncertain and fluctuating production acreage and free-buy prices, farmers now have to include a series of “new” risks to manage. Recent developments, such as higher contract prices, could lead to profound imbalances throughout the whole of the potato sector, according to NEPG.
Potato wart report: PEI Potato Board calls on govt to listen to international panel of experts convened by CFIA
The PEI potato industry welcomed the final report of an International Advisory Panel (IAP) on Potato Wart that was presented to industry and government on January 16, 2023. The panel was convened by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in 2022. The PEI potato industry is pleased with the thoroughness of the panel report and the Panel’s key findings that “given the limited presence of the pathogen, the IAP considers most parts of PEI outside the Regulated Fields as a PFA (pest free area) for S. Endobioticum [fungus causing potato wart].”
Additional points of entry approved for U.S. fresh potato exports to Mexico
As of November 17, 2022, two additional points of entry were approved for fresh potato shipments to the full Mexican market, according to a Potatoes USA news release. Registered U.S. fresh potato exporters can now ship through Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa, Tamaulipas to the interior of Mexico. Both newly approved locations, located along the Mexico-Texas border, increase opportunity for U.S. exporters in the Midwest and the eastern United States.
South Africa: No shortage of French fries after ‘anti-dumping’ ruling, sufficient supply of fresh potatoes
The local potato industry has assured South Africans that it would be able to meet local demand for French fries after heavy “anti-dumping” duties were imposed by the International Trade Administration Commission (Itac) in July last year on Belgium, German and Dutch suppliers. Potatoes SA acting marketing manager, Jaco Koekemoer, said the country has a sufficient supply of fresh potatoes, with forecasts looking promising over the next 12 months.
Mintec: EU potato contracts up 20-30% amid higher production costs
Throughout 2022, potato growers in the EU were impacted by higher production costs, largely from energy, fertiliser and transportation. As Alice Witchalls reports in a news story for Mintec, higher costs are weighing on growers’ profit margins and are driving the cost of cultivation and storage to unsustainable levels. There is a risk that in consecutive seasons some farmers will opt to grow alternative crops.
Will stronger Russet potato pricing impact red and yellow potato movement?
Higher Russet potato pricing could help demand for potatoes in other colors, David Moquist of North Dakota based O. C. Schulz & Sons told FreshPlaza’s Astrid Van Den Broek. “Russet pricing is as high as it’s been for a long time and Russets are the largest part of the potato supply in the country,” says Moquist. Moquist says demand for yellows continues to grow year over year.
Retailers get a jump on planning with IPC potato category reports
With global events during the past few years upending longtime consumer shopping behavior, are potato sales trends anywhere close to a stable new normal? According to a news report by The Produce News, questions like this have led the Idaho Potato Commission to invest heavily in delivering actionable data, teaming up with Category Partners to produce information that is a proven asset to IPC’s team in the field, said Ross Johnson, IPC vice president of retail and international.
Report: Quick service restaurants drive global frozen potato market, industry booming in the Asia Pacific
A new report by Expert Market Research gives an in-depth analysis of the global frozen potato products market. According to the report, the growing popularity of quick service restaurants (QSRs) in both developing and developed countries is driving the global frozen potato market. North America and Europe dominate the business, but the Asia-Pacific area is likely to become one of the most profitable frozen potato marketplaces in the near future.
Higher quality, lower acreage for Idaho russet crop
Quality over quantity is the watchword for the 2022 russet crop in Idaho, as growers grappled with increased input costs and weather challenges that led to fewer acres being planted. “The potato quality looks amazing this year — maybe the best in recent memory,” said Travis Blacker, vice president of industry relations and research for the Idaho Potato Commission. He said Idaho farmers have welcomed the increased demand for potatoes and have been using their profits to put money back into their businesses.
Australia: Industry insider reveals frustrating reason for empty Coles fridges
The hot chip shortage has now hit close to home [in Australia], with the internet divided over a recent photo of an empty Coles fridge, writes Joanne Tran in a news story published by The Daily Telegraph. In a now-viral Reddit post, a user shared a snap of the frozen chips section at their local Coles, and shockingly, it was completely empty.
‘Sizzling fries’: Lamb Weston raised annual sales, gross margin and earnings targets
Lamb Weston announced today its fiscal second quarter 2023 results and updated its fiscal 2023 outlook. “We delivered strong top and bottom-line results in the quarter,” said Tom Werner, President and CEO. “Because of our financial performance in the first half of fiscal 2023 and our broad operating momentum, we have raised our annual sales, gross margin and earnings targets. In addition, we look forward to beginning to capture strategic, commercial and operational benefits from the acquisition of our partner’s interest in our European joint venture.”
South African potato farmers ending year ‘under immense pressure’
South Africa’s potato farmers are ending the year off under immense pressure. And although industry players are optimistic about the industry’s future, it will be years before the industry recovers and farms return to previous levels of profitability, as Duncan Masiwa reports for Food For Mzansi. As it stands, potato farmers in the country are not turning in profits.
Outlook 2023: British potato growers face cost structure challenge, some growers to exit
Discussions on supply contracts for the 2023 potato crop have commenced early, although at the time of writing, many potato growers in the UK are no further forward in reaching agreement, as Robert Harris reports for Farmers Weekly. A reduction in area is both necessary and inevitable, says Andersons director Nick Blake. A number of growers are choosing to exit.
‘Don’t mash those potential potato profits’
Let’s start the new year off talking about one of the sometimes-unsung superstars of the produce department: ‘the potato’, writes Brian Dey in this news story published by The Packer. Potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse, not to mention super tasty when prepared a multitude of ways. They’re great as a main course, side dish or snack. Brian Dey suggests three short tips on how retailers can maximize their potato sales and profits.
British farmers outraged as Sainsbury’s sells potatoes for ‘less than the cost of production’
Farmers have been left outraged as Sainsbury’s, among other UK supermarkets, has discounted the price of potatoes in the run up to Christmas, according to a report by Grocery Gazette. As a result of the price drops, farmers and consumers on Twitter are fearing this will reduce the value of vegetables, while growers deal with added inflationary pressures, according to reporting by Farming Guardian.
IFA: Potato trade buoyant in Ireland, demand starting to improve in Europe
Trade of potatoes is buoyant at present, as expected for the busiest shopping week of the year, the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) says in its weekly potato market report. Across Europe, demand for the holiday period had just started to improve. Export demand is reported to be reduced in the run up to the holiday period.
Colombia anti-dumping duties on frozen fries:
European exporters welcome WTO appeal body ruling
Arbitrators have ruled in favour of the EU in the World Trade Organization (WTO) appeal regarding Colombia’s anti-dumping duties on frozen fries originating from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. The European Potato Processors’ Association (EUPPA) says in a news release the final and binding award confirms that these anti-dumping duties breach WTO rules and improperly restrict access to the Colombian market.
U.S. potato export value increases as demand rebounds
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%.
Potato Business Summit: ‘A Comprehensive Analysis of the Global and North American Potato Industry’
The next Potato Business Summit will be hosted during the Potato Expo on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 at the Gaylord Rockies Resort in Aurora, Colorado. Proven to be one of the popular events during the annual Expo, it is co-sponsored and presented by the United Potato Growers of America (UPGA), the Potato Marketing Association of North America (PMA), and the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPGC). Those interested to attend are encouraged to register online soon.
Australia’s hot chip woes continue this summer
It might not be so easy to get your hands on some delicious hot chips [fries] this summer or when you do, be prepared to pay a higher price than usual. As Chantelle Francis reports for News.com.au, processed potatoes used for potato chips, crisps and other potato products are in tight supply, the industry warns.
South Africa: French fry import tariffs remain a ‘hot potato’
The general manager of Merlog Foods, told Farmer’s Weekly that the price of frozen French fries had almost doubled over the past year in South Africa due to the introduction of import tariffs, which, according to him, created a shortage of French fries on the market. However, Willie Jacobs, CEO of Potatoes SA, stressed that the import tariffs, which amounted to 23% for Belgium, 104% for the Netherlands and 181% for German suppliers, were necessary to protect the local industry against “dumping” and did not affect food security in South Africa.