Farmers Weekly Interactive

Potatoes show steady fresh sales and growth in frozen products

By Camilla Andrews

Fresh potato sales held steady in the 12 weeks to 5 August compared with the same period last year but organic sales plummeted by 20%, latest consumer and retail reports from the Potato Council reveal.

The last quarter saw the value of fresh potato sales increase by 2.3% year on year due to higher prices. Frozen products have had double-digit value growth in the last 12 months while volumes were up by more than 5%, continuing the strong growth since 2009.

Boiled and mashed potatoes have fallen 3.7% and 5.6% respectively in frequency of household use, whilst consumption of frozen and roast potatoes has increased.

Despite this, household potato consumption is at its lowest since 2007, with a decline in number of potato meals of 1.6% in the 12 months to May 2012. Figures from the latest potato consumption report for August 2012 suggest this is driven by a decline in fresh potato use, possibly linked to a fall in red meat consumption.

Supermarkets have reported general declines in fresh potato sales, in both pre-packaged and loose volumes. Tesco, which currently holds a 29.9% volume share of the fresh potato market, had a drop in volume sales of 2.3% year on year with pre-packed volumes down 1.7%.