Potato Sales Are Spiking Due to the St. Patrick's Day Holiday

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Fri. March 13th, 2015 - by Jessica Donnel

UNITED STATES - As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, potato sales, particularly red potato sales, are spiking.

I spoke with both Ralph Schwartz, Potandon’s Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Innovation Export Sales, and Randy Shell, Vice President of Marketing and New Business Development for RPE about the potato season and its potential impact on the market.

Both Potandon and RPE have seen big jumps in red potato demand for St. Patrick’s Day. Prices have stayed fairly stable due to retailers' preparation for the St. Patrick’s Day day demand, but may increase in the coming months.

Ralph Schwartz, VP of Sales, Marketing, and Innovation Export Sales, PotandonRalph Schwartz tells me that the market is still pretty flat and has not yet started reacting yet to the declining supply. About the St. Patrick’s day red potato supply, he says, “We have heavy promotional volume, especially in the East which will drive huge volumes. After the holiday we expect to see pricing firm up as some of the smaller suppliers will finish for their crop year.”

RPE has been experiencing a similar market. When we asked Randy Shell how the potato market was doing, he said, "The market is split with large size russet potatoes in tighter supply and prices look to rise into the summer. Consumer russet packs look to continue to be a great value for the near future with promotable volumes and prices. Red potatoes also look to be in good supplies for the near future at promotable prices.”

Shell expects prices to spike around early April.

Both companies have also seen a recent transition from Western United States operations, to more Florida centric harvesting.

RPE is already harvesting new crop fingerlings, red potatoes, and baby potatoes in California and Florida, while Potandon expects a strong finish to their North Dakota crop before transitioning into Arizona, where they will ship from all summer.

Schwartz tells me, “Idaho red potato will finish with great demand this month. Supplies are winding down and we will transition to Florida red potatoes. We will be starting slow but are expecting to fill the pipeline as the transition gains more ground on the supply side.”

Keith Groven, Fresh Potato Sales Associate, Black Gold FarmsI also spoke with Keith Groven, Fresh Potato Sales Associate at Black Gold Farms. He says that this year’s storage crop is the strongest quality crop they’ve seen in three to four years. Although the company has had reduced yields during the last year due to a late spring and excess moisture, Groven says that potatoes that were harvested were exceptional.

When I asked him if he sees any dips in prices or demand, he told me, “Prices are always linked to the supply/demand curve which gets much more volatile once we get past the storage potato season and into the fresh potato season. With such a late spring in the middle part of the country we are starting to see the opportunity for supplies to really tighten up in May and June.”

Stay tuned to AndNowUKnow for the latest updates on the potato market.



Black Gold Farms