UNITED STATES - As a consumer, I am constantly thinking about potatoes, and as a trade news writer…I am always thinking about potatoes. While off-the-clock me seeks out delicious recipes and new cooking methods, on-the-clock me is focused on the real questions: What is the state of the current market? How is the category performing in terms of quality and volume?
Knowing the answers to all my questions are only a phone call away, I touched base with some of our industry friends to find out the ins and outs of the potato category.
“The current organic potato market is extremely strong with red and yellows $6–8 stronger than a year ago and very few Russet counts available,” Kurt Jacobs, Sales,Bridges Produce, commented. “Supply will be picking up going into summer and fall storage crops, where we are hoping to see the pricing stay strong—a necessity due to the increase in diesel, farm input costs, and labor, as well as inflation.”
Kathleen Triou, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fresh Solutions Network, also offered some insight.
“Fresh Solutions Network’s supply partner in Washington estimated a delay in harvest this year, but excellent growing conditions recently helped them catch up. In Idaho, we still have about a month or so to catch up, yet we are still estimating a week to 10 days delay in harvest. We continue to prioritize and plan carefully to meet our retail supply needs. Currently, the Russet market is extremely tight, and will remain so until new crop becomes available. New crop red and yellow potatoes will become available in Washington starting next week,” noted Kathleen.
A phone call with Anthony Innocenti, Managing Partner, LIV Organic™, also shined a light on strong pricing and smaller sizing in the category.
“One of LIV Organic’s strengths is our 52-week continuous supply of organic potatoes. We’re now in the peak of the California season on reds, yellows, and Russets,” Anthony says. “This year, the sizing was on the smaller size across the board, especially for Russets, but quality is still excellent. Prices for the category remained firm this year, much higher than in years past. It’s important for prices to stay where they are to encourage growers on the West Coast amidst significant increases in water and labor costs.”
PRO*ACT’s The Source, released on July 13, noted that demand for potatoes currently exceeds offerings due to a shortage of supply, and a new crop is anticipated in Washington, in early August.
AndNowUKnow will keep a close eye on the state of the market and bring you timely updates as they come, so be on the lookout for our little green logo.