Total U.S. Second-Quarter Potato Sales Down

Published online: Jul 29, 2021 Articles
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Potatoes USA's second-quarter report shows that during April to June 2021, potato sales declined in dollars by 10.5 percent and in volume by 15.5 percent compared to the same time period in 2020. However, when sales are compared to that same timeframe in 2019, sales increased in both value and volume. Consumers spent $317 million more from April to June 2021 on potatoes than they did in 2019 and bought 53 million more pounds of potatoes, demonstrating demand for potatoes is elevated in grocery stores.

The potato categories that performed best in 2020 showed the largest declines in 2021. Canned, dehydrated, fresh, and frozen potatoes all declined by double digits in both dollars and volume. Sales of deli-prepared sides increased in dollars by 23.9 percent and in volume by 20.4 percent from the same timeframe in 2020. The majority of salad bars, which largely drive sales for this category, were not brought back into grocery stores until early 2021. Increased growth of this category suggests the reopening of salad bars and a more mobile consumer base.

Within the fresh potato category, medley potatoes maintained positive growth while the rest of the fresh types decreased in sales compared to 2020. Russets and white potatoes saw the largest percentage decline in dollars and volume. Petite potatoes were almost even in dollars with a decline of just 0.1 percent and a slight decline in volume by 1.7 percent. An increase in micro-steamer and tray packaging shows consumers increased their pre-packaged purchasing compared to the same time period last year. Fresh potato sales are slightly below 2019 levels in volume but are above in dollar sales.

These figures are compiled by IRI.