Potatoes USA Unveils Category Growth at Retail
DENVER, CO - The potato category serves as a bellwether of change in the produce aisle, and as such, we should be keeping a close eye on the market to keep pace with evolving demand. Potatoes USA has us covered, recently releasing a report to outline movement across the potato category this past year.
In the report, which outlines data collected by IRI, Potatoes USA stated that from July 2020 to June 2021, potato sales increased in dollars by 3 percent, but declined slightly in volume by 0.3 percent compared to the previous July–June marketing year. Elevated purchasing that occured in 2020 played a role in this slight decline, resulting in falling volume sales across three categories. However, compared to sales prior to the pandemic, buying cycles show an increase in value and volume. Consumers reportedly bought an additional 577 million pounds of potatoes in this period compared to the year prior.
According to Potatoes USA’s release, refrigerated potatoes had the largest growth, with a 10.6 percent increase in dollars and a 5.3 percent increase in volume. The frozen potato segment also grew, with dollar and volume sales increasing by 6.3 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively. This growth came even despite an increase in overall average pricing. Sales of prepared sides increased compared to the same period in 2019 and 2020, but have not returned to pre-pandemic levels just yet. The two largest volume-driving categories are chips and fresh potatoes, which each increased in dollar sales but fell in volume by 1.8 percent.
The russet category, which makes up 60 percent of the volume share of fresh sales, fell by 3 percent in dollars and 3.4 percent in volume. The second largest fresh potato variety, red potatoes, also fell in dollars by 3.1 percent and volume by 1.9 percent. On the flipside, yellow potato sales increased by 9.7 percent and volume increased by 7 percent. Additionally, petite and medley potatoes saw double-digit increases in both value and volume. Potato bags from 1 lb to 4 lbs grew with an 11.5 percent increase in dollars and a 7.4 percent increase in volume.
How can we use growth in the potato category to drive basket share across the produce aisle? Keep reading ANUK as we uncover the answers.