Fresh Potato Sales Boom at Year’s End
Retail fresh potato sales saw record growth of 12% in dollar sales and 8.2% in volume during the October-December quarter, according to Potatoes USA. The organization’s three-month review charts the rise of multiple potato categories, with total store potato sales growing 12.3% in value and 9.3% in volume. Processed potato categories, which include frozen, dehydrated, refrigerated and canned potatoes, all saw double-digit growth in sales and volume when compared to the same period in 2019, according to a Potatoes USA news release.
Fresh category data, compiled by research firm IRI for Potatoes USA, include:
- Russets, reds and yellow potatoes made up most table stock potato sales at retail, and all increased in dollars and volume;
- Five-pound bags of potatoes continued to make up the majority of volume sales at 46%, increasing by almost 7%;
- One-pound through four-pound bags increased the most, in both dollars (up 23%) and volume (up18.8%);
- Eight-pound bags and those more than 10 pounds saw double-digit growth in volume; and
- Organic potato sales in dollars from October-December was almost 15% higher than the same period in 2019, while conventionally grown potatoes saw about a 12% increase.
Overall, the largest growth for the quarter was in December, according to the release, with dehydrated potatoes seeing the greatest rise in dollar sales (21.9%) and volume (20.4%). “These numbers show that consumers continued to purchase more center store potatoes than they have in the last five years,” Potatoes USA pointed out.
At an average of 72 cents a pound, fresh potato prices rose 2 cents/pound when comparing the three-month periods from 2019 and 2020. Average prices of all categories rose 4 cents/pound, at USD1.64 for the quarter.