Trends

Waitrose to sell potato milk as demand for plant-based options grows

Britons already eat potatoes boiled, baked, roasted and mashed but now the humble spud is being milked for all its worth, with potato milk set to be the next big thing, according to a report by The Guardian. Alice Shrubsall, alternative milk buyer at Waitrose, said the retailer was planning to expand its alt-milk range to include potato milk.

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Global potato exports down

A new report from IndexBox shows that global potato exports shrank to 13mil tons in 2020, dropping by -11.3% compared to the year before. As Potato Business reports, in value terms, potato exports plummeted from USD5.1bn in 2019 to USD4.3bn, with France, the Netherlands, and Germany as major spuds exporters worldwide, according to GlobalTrade.

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Canada: Prince Edward Island’s potato bumper crop one of the best in ‘many generations’

After a couple of difficult seasons, this year’s potato crop on Canada’s Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) is being called one of the best in decades. “This year’s potato crop in P.E.I. is one of the best that growers have grown for many generations. A beautiful crop this year,” said Kevin MacIsaac, general manager of the United Potato Growers of Canada. He said the last time the crop was around these levels would have been in 2006, and that was with a larger number of acres.

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Global trade volumes of frozen potato products stabilize, low priced imports from Belgium gain share in US imports

Market and consumer data analytics company A-INSIGHTS has published its latest monthly MarketMonitor report on trends in the Frozen Potato Products industry, titled “July Insights“. Analysts at the company report that global frozen potato trade volumes have stabilized in July, with the year-to-date volume remaining 0.5% above the pre-COVID levels of 2019. They further report that low priced imports from Belgium gain share in US imports.

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‘UK Robust Potato Pledge 2021’: Retailers commit to sustainable potatoes

Several key UK retailers have pledged to sell disease resistant organic potatoes, boosting sustainability and farm resilience for producers. Organic certification body the Soil Association developed its ‘UK Robust Potato Pledge 2021’ in a bid to help growers move away from potatoes that are susceptible to blight. Signees to the pledge have agreed to favour organic spuds that have been bred to be blight resistant.

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Lamb Weston’s top and bottom lines heading in different directions

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc.’s top and bottom lines headed in different directions during the first quarter of fiscal 2022. Sales rose 13% as foodservice and institutional businesses recovered around the world, but the company’s net income fell 67% for the quarter. “In the US, we continue to be encouraged by the pace of recovery in restaurant traffic and demand for fries,” Thomas P. Werner, president and chief executive officer said.

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Potatoes in eastern Canada faring well, the west sees yield impact of excessive heat

Potato harvest is well underway in Canada, with varying results from a near-record harvest to too-short in supply. “Moving from east to west, the season is always later. We have more time in the east to allow the crop to get harvested before winter sets in, in a normal year,” says Kevin MacIsaac, of United Potato Growers of Canada. After three years of below average crops in the area due to warm, dry conditions, a good quality crop is welcome for farmers on the East Coast. Heading into Western Canada, the drought has been detrimental to yields.

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‘Root Zero’: Carbon neutral potatoes from Puffin Produce a UK first

The home of the much-loved Pembrokeshire potato has added a new iconic product to supermarket shelves with the launch of the UK’s first carbon neutral potato. ‘Root Zero’ planet friendly potatoes are grown in Pembrokeshire by Puffin Produce. The spuds are certified carbon neutral and grown using sustainable farming practices to remove carbon dioxide, create healthy soil and increase local biodiversity.

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U.S. potato sales strong in marketing year ‘unlike any other ever experienced’

The marketing year that ended in June 2021 was unlike any year the potato industry has ever experienced, says Potatoes USA in a news release issued today. “With pandemic restrictions ebbing and flowing from June 2020 to July 2021, sales at foodservice fluctuated while retail purchases remained extremely strong throughout the year,” the industry body says.

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Analysis: Importance of science and technology in modern farming

Scientific discoveries and technological novelties greatly assist agribusiness, making it faster, more accurate, cost-effective, and efficient. At the disposal of present-day farmers, there are eco-friendly techniques, smart machinery and robots, resilient planting materials, and advanced sensors. While scientific and technological advancements improve current farming practices, agricultural challenges nurture scientists’ zest for yet more beneficial contributions in the future.

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Farther Farms developed technology to keep precut fries shelf-stable without freezing or refrigeration

Packaged food startup Farther Farms, backed with $10 million in capital from the National Science Foundation, has created a new food preservation process that it hopes could make the cold chain moot for traditionally frozen or refrigerated packaged food products. The company’s first product, a precut, ready-to-fry French fry, which uses a CO2 food pasteurization technology to keep the fry shelf-stable for months without requiring a freezer or refrigerator.

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McCain and The Simple Root use potatoes to create alternatives for dairy based foods

The Simple Root, a new global plant-based brand backed by world leading FMCG McCain Foods, will launch in the UK later this year, harnessing the power of the potato to create delicious alternatives to dairy based foods. Launching in the UK with a global roll out across key markets to follow, the range includes versatile cooking sauces such as bechamel, truffle and cheese, and pesto, cream ‘cheeze,’ and a range of dips such as roasted garlic and herb and smoky chipotle.

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Frozen French fry production in China expected to increase by 20 percent

According to a recent report issued by the USDA’s Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN), China’s MY2021/22 frozen French fries production is forecast higher by 20 percent at 420,000 metric tons (MT). According to industry sources, a new french fry production line will be put into production in MY2021/22 in Inner Mongolia. Frozen French fry producers in China are expected to expand their production as much as possible to make up for the reduction of imports.

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Potato demand improves in Ireland, European markets regain confidence

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) reports that retail and consumer demand have improved in the country this week as colder weather has returned and families are back into routines, following the holiday period. The hospitability sector continues to prosper despite the return of schools. European markets continue to regain confidence as economies are almost fully re-opened at this point.

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Frozen potato products: A-Insights reports on latest trends

Market and consumer data analytics company A-INSIGHTS has published its latest monthly MarketMonitor report on trends in the Frozen Potato Products industry, titled “June Insights“. Analysts at the company conclude that global trade volume is up 0.5%YTD compared to 2019. Aside from the U.S., France, and New Zealand, all major exporters saw volumes increase compared to 2019. With a monthly import volume of 107.9 thousand tonnes in June, U.S. imports are up 26.2% compared to 2019.

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MountainKing: Quality of Colorado potato crop ‘extraordinary’

As MountainKing readies for its fall harvest, early tests from its fields in Colorado’s San Luis Valley offer encouraging signs for several of the brand’s gourmet varieties including its yellow-flesh varietals. “The 2021 crop outlook is very bright,” says Andreas Trettin, director of marketing for MountainKing Potatoes. “The quality is extraordinary,” he says.

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Industry sets expectations for Idaho, U.S. potato crops

The transition from old crop to new crop potatoes is taking place right now, and two potato industry observers report that expected reduced fresh shipments during the 2021-22 marketing year should provide a firm market. Mark Klompien, president and CEO of the United Potato Growers of America For the 2020-21 season, Klompien said that fresh potato pricing seems to be finding stable footing this fall.

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Potato, you say? The low down on the newest plant milk trend

Would you be keen to splash some liquid potato into your morning coffee? According to the Swedish manufacturers of the world’s first commercially produced potato milk, the trusty tuber has been elevated to a new frontier, and plenty of plant milk fans are curious. The concoction, from Scandinavian brand Dug, is said to have a creamy texture, and the makers claim it can even be whipped into a froth for coffee.

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Idaho drought: Potato digs show ‘bad signs’

Heat and dryness have been the story of the summer this year in southern Idaho. With record heat, crops — including Idaho’s most famous crop — have seen effects in numerous ways, reports Nicholas Snider for KMVT. “I’m not saying that Idaho won’t have any of the bigger potatoes they’re famous for,” says Sean Ellis, a spokesman for the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation. “There’s just not going to be as many this year.”

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Weather woes hit British potato crop

Potato growers in the UK are starting to lift a crop that has weathered difficult conditions and is being sold into an uncertain market, writes Cedric Porter in an article for Farmers Guardian. Porter says most potatoes were planted in very good conditions as the wet winter gave way to a drier spring just in time. But it was one of the coldest April’s on record, followed by a very wet May and then a mixed summer with some heat but plenty of rain.

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New Zealand research aims to turn bio-waste such as potato scraps into economic boost

University of Canterbury environmental science professor Brett Robinson in New Zealand is working on a research project that transforms biowaste into high-value products. Waste products from New Zealand’s food processing industry – such as potato scraps and grape skins – could be transformed into high-value soil conditioners and animal feed, according to new research.

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Study: Dietary shift to potatoes could cut staple crop emissions in China by 25%

A dietary shift from rice to potatoes could ‘notably reduce’ the climate and environmental impacts of staple crop agriculture in China, according to a new study. It finds that a large-scale dietary shift towards potatoes, combined with better growing methods, could reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of these staples by up to 25 per cent. However, the authors note that it remains to be seen whether such a major dietary shift can be carried out on a large scale.

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