U.S. Potato Sales Strong in Marketing Year 2020-2021


Potato sales at the foodservice level fluctuated while retail purchases remained strong between June 2020 to July 2021. USA Potatoes recently conducted an annual sales and utilization study that showed an overall decline in potato use for the July 2020 – June 2021 marketing year. The decrease was because of an eight percent decline in sales to foodservice and the leveling off of retail sales from the peak panic buying that took place at the end of the previous marketing year. This year’s tight supply of U.S. potatoes, particularly frozen potato products, was made up for by a 12 percent increase in total imports. Despite the uncertainties in the international markets and the extreme problems with international shipping, U.S. potato exports increased by four percent for the marketing year. Retail sales, which includes domestically produced potatoes as well as imports, are up compared to three and five years ago. However, the decline at the foodservice level was too great to overcome. For the past 20 years, the trend has been for more and more sales to go through foodservice establishments compared to retail outlets. The trend was reversed over the past two years, but industry experts say that foodservice will begin to make up a greater share but not right away. USA Potatoes says that demand for potatoes remains strong, potatoes are the number one vegetable at retail, and the top side dish in restaurants.