Fresh potato sales hit record as 2020 ends

Fresh potato sales hit record as 2020 ends

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,” according to the release.

At an average of 72 cents a pound, fresh potato prices rose 2 cents a pound when comparing the three-month periods from 2019 and 2020. Average prices of all categories rose 4 cents a pound, at $1.64 for the quarter.