Strong US retail sales

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RETAIL potato sales in the US increased by 3% compared to the previous July-June marketing year, a report by Potatoes USA reveals. 

However, increased purchasing in 2020 led to a slight decline in overall volume. Three categories fell in volume sales from July 2020 – June 2021. However, compared to sales prior to the pandemic buying cycle shows an increase in value and volume. Consumers bought 577 million more pounds of potatoes from July 2020 – June 2021 than July 2018 – June 2019.

Refrigerated potatoes had the largest increase compared to the same period the previous year of 10.6% increase in dollars and a 5.3% increase in volume. Frozen potatoes kept a stronghold on sales, with dollar and volume sales increasing by 6.3% and 4.6%, respectively, even with an increase in overall average pricing. Deli-prepared sides increased compared to the same period in 2019 and 2020, but have still not returned to pre-pandemic levels. The two largest volume driving categories, chips and fresh potatoes, increased in dollar sales but both fell in volume by 1.8%.

The decline in fresh sales was largely impacted by a decline in russet sales, which fell by 3% in dollars and 3.4% in volume. Russets make up 60% of the volume share of fresh sales. The second largest fresh category, red potatoes, also fell in dollars by 3.1% and volume by 1.9%. However, yellow potatoes increased by 9.7% and volume by 7%. Additionally, petite and medley potatoes increased by double-digits in value and volume. One through four-pound bags of potatoes were the only pack sizes that grew with an 11.5% increase in dollars and a 7.4% increase in volume.

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