Strong US Potato Sales in Marketing Year 2020-21
Restaurant-level potato sales fluctuated while retail purchases remained strong between June 2020 and July 2021.
USA Potatoes recently conducted an annual sales and use study which showed an overall decline in the use of potatoes for the marketing year from July 2020 to June 2021. This decline is attributable to a drop of eight percent of foodservice sales and retail sales leveling off from the peak panic buying that occurred at the end of the previous marketing year.
The tight supply of US potatoes this year, especially frozen potato products, was offset by a 12 percent increase in total imports. Despite uncertainties in international markets and extreme problems with international shipments, US potato exports increased four percent for the marketing year. Retail sales, which include domestically produced potatoes as well as imports, are up from three and five years ago. However, the drop in catering was too great to overcome.
Over the past 20 years, the trend has been for more and more sales to go through foodservice establishments compared to retail outlets. The trend has reversed in the past couple of years, but industry experts say catering will start to take a bigger share, but not right away. USA Potatoes says the demand for potatoes remains strong, that potatoes are the number one vegetable in retail and the top side dish in restaurants.