Jul 27, 2020Year-end retail sales of potatoes top $13 billion, up 11.2%
Potato sales in the U.S. retail sector surpassed $13 billion during the 12-month period between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.
In a report issued by Potatoes USA based on data from IRI, the $13.03 billion in sales was 11.2% higher than the previous year. Volume sold was 7.621 billion pounds, which was up 9.7%.
The large spike came mostly during March through June due to COVID-19 restrictions, which led to people eating at home more than eating away from home. Sales were up 15.7% from January to March and 24% from April to June.
Overall, potatoes and potato products sold for an average of $1.71 per pound versus $1.69 per pound the previous 12 months.
Every category saw an increase in sales, with the exception of deli-prepared sides. Top categories (and change from previous year):
- Chips, $6.30 billion (+7.4%)
- Fresh, $3.29 billion (+14.7%)
- Frozen, $1.87 billion (+17.7)
- Refrigerated, $628.3 million (+14.8%)
- Dehydrated, $581.0 million (+22.1%)
- Deli-prepared sides, $315.0 million (-5.8%)
- Canned, $54.0 million (+18.7)
Sales breakdown by region:
- Northeast, $2.160 billion
- Great Lakes, $2.067 billion
- Southeast, $2.032 billion
- Mid-South, $1.883 billion
- South Central, $1.416 billion
- West (minus California), $1.405 billion
- California, $1.085 billion
- Plains, $982 million
Fresh potato sales increased in both dollar sales (+14.7%) and volume (+9.5%) for the first time at least since 2016, according to Potatoes USA. Fresh sales in retail totaled $3.286 billion.
Leading categories (and change from previous year):
- Russets, $1.668 billion (+13.1%)
- Reds, $600.9 million (+9.8%)
- Yellows, $431.7 million (+18.6%)
- Petites, $265.5 million (+27.6%)
- Whites, $196.9 million (+19.5%)
- Medleys, $66.3 million (+21.5%)
- Fingerlings, $15.4 million (-3.8%)
- Purple/Blue, $3.6 million (+4.9%)
- All other, $37.9 million (+22.3%)
All categories of non-specialty potatoes sold double-digit percentage points more in terms of overall volume with the exception of reds. That is likely due to a lack of availability due to weather-related harvest problems last fall in the Red River Valley, an area that grows a high volume of red potatoes. The average price per pound for fresh reds was $1.04, an increase of 15.1% from last year, compared to price increases of 2.8% for russets, 5.1% for yellows and 3.4% for whites.
Five-pound bags captured the highest amount overall dollar sales ($2.494 billion) and volume sold (47%).
Fresh organic potato sales totaled $132.4 million, which is 8.6% higher than last year and an all-time high. In terms of dollars, conventionally grown potatoes accounted for 98% of the market to just 2% for organic.