Jan 27, 2022Potato sales up in dollars, down in volume as prices rise
Higher prices at the grocery store and elsewhere are evident in the latest retail report on potato sales released by Potatoes USA.
During the quarter spanning October to December 2021, potato sales increased in dollars by 3.5%, but decreased in volume by 6.7%, the Jan. 27 release stated.
“Elevated prices in grocery stores lead to an increase in dollar sales compared to 2020,” Potatoes USA’s report said. “Volume sales were below 2020 levels but remained higher than in 2019. Prices grew by 10.9% compared to 2020, growing five times faster than the previous two years.”
All categories of potatoes fell in volume during the quarter compared to the last quarter of 2020, when more people were still eating at home amid pandemic shutdowns. Dollar sales grew in three categories: chips, deli-prepared sides and refrigerated potatoes.
Chips had the largest increase in dollar sales at 8.3% due to the largest increase in the average price compared to the previous year (+11.3%).
Refrigerated potatoes and deli-prepared sides increased in dollar sales by 1.4% and 6.2%, respectively, as consumers continued to use these categories to supplement cooking from scratch at home.
An 8.7% dollar decline in fresh potato sales was largely impacted by russet sales, the category’s largest volume share, which fell by 2.7% in dollars and 11.2% in volume. The second largest fresh category, red potatoes, also fell in dollars by 2.9% and in volume by 7.3%.
Bags of potatoes greater than 10 pounds had the most significant price increase, with an average increase of 31.5%, leading to the growth in dollar sales. Volume sales for this category fell by 19.6%.
Yellow and petite potatoes grew in dollar and volume sales compared to 2020. One through 4-pound bags of potatoes grew in dollar sales by 5%, with a slight decline in volume sales of 3.3%. Micro/steamer trays and regular trays of potatoes grew in both dollar and volume sales, showing consumers continue to purchase value-added products.
Frozen sales declined by 1.9% in volume and 4.8% dollar amount during the quarter. Price per pound was up 3.1%.
Dehydrated potato sales were down 3.7% in volume and 4.3% in total dollars. The dehy price increase was the smallest among the categories at 0.7%.
So far this marketing year, except July and August, all months have grown in dollar sales. And in October, dollar sales for potatoes started increasing by double-digits. Overall, sales for total store potatoes are still growing in a post-2020 world despite increasing prices.
These figures are compiled by IRI. Potatoes USA accepts no liability for the content of these reports, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of any information contained herein.