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Pandemic impact: Foodservice losses reduce total potato sales in the US

Source: Marketing Year 20 Sales & Utilization Report, Potatoes USA

Despite the 9% increase in sales through retail, the decline occurred due to the 13% decrease in sales to the foodservice sector and 2% decrease in exports. In terms of utilization of the U.S. crop the decline was further compounded by a 7% increase in imports.

It is important to note that this decline occurred at the end of the marketing year. Sales to foodservice, retail, and exports, were up for the July – December 2019 period.

Foodservice sales have been accounting for a greater and greater share of total potato sales in the U.S., peaking at 58% in marketing year 2019. This upward trend was reversed in MY20, with the foodservice share dropping to 53% of the total.
Source: Marketing Year 20 Sales & Utilization Report, Potatoes USA

Source: Marketing Year 20 Sales & Utilization Report, Potatoes USA

For the marketing year, retail sales were up 8.7%, an increase of 1.3 million pounds. From a percentage perspective, frozen and dehydrated saw the largest growth, both with an increase of over 15%. Potato chips, the largest volume category at retail, increased by 5.5%, and fresh was up by 9.5% for the marketing year.

Within fresh sales, russets increased by 10%, yellows increased by 13%, and whites increased by 16%. The only decline was for reds, which were down 5% due to supply issues.

The impact of COVID restrictions was uneven, impacting limited-service restaurants the least. Therefore, frozen sales were only down 10%. However, since full-service restaurants suffered a much greater decline in sales, fresh potato sales to foodservice were down by 19%.

 
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