Salty facts: American salty snacks market to reach $29 billion by 2022; dominated by Frito-Lay

Related imageHow Americans eat has evolved to match the frequently hurried, harried and hectic lifestyles of today’s consumers, says market research firm Packaged Facts. That shift has been a boon to convenient food options, including salty snacks such as potato chips, popcorn and pretzels. In its new report, “Salty Snacks: U.S. Market Trends and Opportunities,” Packaged Facts estimates retail dollar sales of the U.S. salty snacks industry at $24 billion in 2017, expected to exceed $29 billion in 2022. Despite competition from other snacks, such as chocolate and non-chocolate confections, cookies and crackers, the outlook for salty snacks remains bright. Future growth is expected to come from products that are as flavorful as possible but also as healthy and nutritious as possible. The report shows that PepsiCo controls about 60% of retail sales in the American salty snacks market through its Frito-Lay division. The Shelby Report. Also read report by Potato Business

HZPC: Growing demand for organic potatoes encourages breeding

Image result for Growing demand for organic potatoes encourages breedingOrganic potatoes are on the rise, especially now that the large supermarkets have embraced the product. But what to do against the dreaded disease Phytophthora‘The market share of organic products is growing rapidly. In the Dutch supermarkets, turnover is increasing by 10 percent annually, but the potato is lagging behind’, says Edith Lammerts van Bueren, professor of organic plant breeding. She has been working on the improvement of organic vegetable and potato cultivation for decades. Potato fields cannot do without crop protection. Traditional growers spray against Phytophthora, or late blight, at least once a week. According to the professor, at least 20% of the organic farmers stopped growing potato between 2000 and 2007. ‘They could no longer cope with the intense waves of this disease.’ There are now a handful of varieties available that are resistant to late blight. However, the ‘technical’ restriction of these varieties is that they contain only one resistance gene. Breeder Peter Vos of HZPC is concerned. Read more 

Sobering thought: This Fryday, embrace the crinkle cut, the french fry ideal!

Image result for crinkle cut friesBaptized in oil, anointed with salt, the fry stands alone. Of all the culinary wonders and the many connections made in our lives by food, fries are the threads that bind the steak frites of Paris bistros and the rural American roadside dive. The humble potato, pulled from the earth and living at the very center of our deep fried hearts. National Fry Day is July 13 this year in a mystical aligning of planets or french fries, falling on a Friday. Literally Fryday. For the blessings of hand-cut, shoestring, big ole steak fries and curly, for all the good done by duck fat and the endless charm of cousin tater tot, there is but one french fry ideal. Excuse me, frydeal. That is the crinkle cut, the jagged, unapologeticly-frozen-yet-redeemed-by-hot-oil pinnacle of crunch, starch and salt. Those ridges and valleys, all those pointy ends all add up to the pound for point most perfect fry… Read further

On this National French Fry Day, ORE-IDA introduces Potato Pay, the future of mealtime bribery

Image result for This National French Fry Day, ORE-IDA Introduces Potato Pay, the Future of Mealtime BriberyToday is National French Fry Day in the US. In a press release issued earlier today, potato processor ORE-IDA says the company knows it’s at times hard to get kids to eat their dinner. Mealtime serves up tantrums and tears regularly. It usually takes some sort of bribe or game to get them to eat that one piece of broccoli, the company says. So, why change a method that we all know already works, when it can simply be renamed? Meet Potato Pay, a new and easy way to get your children to eat their dinner. Each fry is a piece of crispy golden currency designed to be the most satisfying bribery tool possible. Just pay your child with the ORE-IDA fries they love to eat, in return for bites of the foods that they don’t. For example, one bite of chicken = one fry, a mushroom = three fries and a spoonful of quinoa = five fries. Refer to the easy-to-use mealtime bribery chart, or “Frynancial Guide,” to see the fry value of various food items. Ore-Ida says the idea for Potato Pay is simple yet powerful —mealtime can be a real struggle for parents… Full press release

South Korean consumers shift toward imported potatoes

Image result for south korean potatoesProduction of fresh potato in Korea is expected to increase in calendar year 2018, to 530,000 tonnes; up 14 per cent from 2017. Despite higher domestic volumes, a USDA Gain report states that consumers continue to shift toward consumption of imported potatoes and potato products. Following the resolution of a phytosanitary issue in the US’ Pacific Northwest, US exports of fresh potato are expected to increase to South Korea in 2018. Overall, the report predicts that domestic potato production is likely to decrease gradually over the coming years as consumers prefer pre-prepared and processed potato products. Smaller families and a lower frequency of eating at home are also attributed to the predicted decline. Read more. Full GAIN report 

Taco Bell wants to ‘Make Potato Great’ again in India

Image result for Crispy PotacoAloo Jeera, Aloo Gobhi, Aloo Matar, Aloo Palak, Aloo Methi; these are just some of the more typical items you’ll find on most Indian menus. Boiled, mashed, baked, blanched, fried et al, the humble potato, a staple for many, can be served up in so many (many) forms and thus, caters to a wide variety of taste buds. But what does it have to do with Taco Bell? Well, the American fast-food brand has decided to decode Indian’s insatiable love affair with the mighty potato with the introduction of an all-new ‘Crispy Potaco‘ to their menu and the aim to #MakePotatoGreat. Through this digital-only campaign, conceptualised by Ogilvy and seemingly aimed at millennials, Tanmay Bhat, comedian and social influencer, is seen in the video pitching the product or rather, the potato, to investors. India as a region continues to be a key growth focus for Taco Bell globally and the brand believes it can be one of their biggest markets outside of the US, in the near future. Read more

PepsiCo attempts health focus in Thailand

PepsiCo Food, a part of Pepsi-Cola Thai Trading Co and the maker of Lay’s potato chips, is shifting to healthier snack options. The company aims to make Sunbites, a multigrain snack, healthy snack brand among Thais. The move is part of Pepsi-Cola’s 2016-25 strategic plan to focus on three core priorities: improving health and well-being through the products it sells, protecting the planet and empowering people around. The company previously launched baked potato chips under the Lay’s brand and moved to use rice bran oil, replacing palm oil. Lay’s potato chips have grown in double-digits in the first five months of this year to grow by 17%.  Read more

Belgian potato processor says it responds to consumer demands

Image result for lutosaIn an interview with Dan Orehov or Potato Processing International magazine, the  marketing director of Lutosa, Françoise Saint-Ghislain, discussed trends and innovation in processed potato products. Orehov asked her how she views the current market trends concerning processed potatoes, including french fries, and in particular what consumers prefer. “We noticed a rise in our customer’s demand for organic-based products,” Saint-Ghislain said. “Therefore, we have been expanding our existing range of frozen fries (Straight Cut and Pom’Steak), wedges, mashed potatoes, and potato flakes (for instant mash), by introducing frozen dices. The organic range targets the industry, the food service and retail markets.” Saint-Ghislain also said that gluten-free is a trend where Lutosa can easily play a role as all its fries and cut products (wedges, slices, dices…) are 100% gluten-free. “Staying in is the new going out!,” Saint-Ghislain said. People are gathering more and more at home, ordering food online. Read more

In America, millennials eat – potatoes!

Copy editor and designer Amelia Freidline and staff writer Ashley Nickle of The Packer magazine produced a delightful short video in which they discuss the produce age gap for potatoes, which according to Fresh Trends research are purchased much more by older generations than by millennials. Amelia and Ashley talk through the perceived drawbacks to potatoes and suggest marketing angles that work around those, and as usual they sample a delectable dish prepared by Amelia. Says Amelia: “Potatoes are easy. They are good for you. You don’t want to waste them…” Go here to watch the video on The Packer website. For more on the concept of the produce age gap, check out this column by editor Greg Johnson.

Lamb Weston stock gains on demand for fries, new product innovation

Image result for taco bell's nacho friesNo matter how you slice, mash or fry it, Lamb Weston Holdings has been on a tear since going public a year and a half ago. The Eagle, Idaho-based company has become a top supplier of frozen potato, sweet potato, appetizer and vegetable products to restaurants and retailers worldwide. By finding new ways to get spuds to the public in new forms, its stock keeps trending higher. Take last quarter, when the company got a sales boost via Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries. Yum Brands, the fast-food chain’s parent company, called the spicy potato fries the most popular debut in Taco Bell’s history. Lamb Weston Chief Executive Tom Werner says the company has benefited from strong demand and new product innovation. “As our strong third quarter and year-to-date results show, our commercial and supply chain teams are executing well and the operating environment continues to be favorable,” Werner said on a recent earnings call with analysts. Read more

US: Consumer trends put spotlight on blemish diseases

It’s not a surprise that the market for colored potato varieties, (red and yellows as well as fingerlings) has been on the rise in the last several years. What may be less obvious are the effects those market trends have on managing diseases. In the Red River Valley that means being more vigilant for blemish diseases like silver scurf. “We’ve got a great red market here in the valley and people are buying these table potatoes by eyesight. You know, they’re buying them by the way they look,” said Gary Secor, plant pathologist with North Dakota State University. He said as more specialty varieties come in from Europe and South America, including fingerlings, the look of those potatoes is even more important with consumers. As consumers become pickier, Secor said, that translates to pickier buyers and the producers have to become more selective as well. Read more

‘Electrocuted’: Pilot programme in New Zealand puts the power into potatoes

The Pulsed Electric Field Technology (PEF) machine on display at McCain Foods in Washdyke.The humble potato is in for a shocking multi-million dollar South Canterbury makeover. An industry pilot programme, part of the Ministry for Business and Innovation funded Food Industry Enabling Technology (FIET) programme worth almost $16.8 million, is being trialled at McCain Foods in Washdyke, Timaru, in what has been described as “electrocuting potatoes”. The three month test of the new Pulsed Electric Field Technology (PEF) machine from Germany, began in Timaru on Wednesday and involves industrial-scale food processing of the popular french fry. The machine uses a brief electric pulse to modify and disrupt the membranes of cells in plant or animal material. Otago University researchers are leading the pilot trial on potato processing – with initial research showing promising results for minimising waste through having fewer broken chips during processing.  Continue reading

Following the trend: Californian company goes all-in on organic potatoes

Image result for Top Brass goes all-in on organic potatoesTop Brass Produce, based in Bakersfield, CA, is the official sales agent for Vignolo Farms, which is celebrating its 80th birthday this year. “We have been farming organic grapes and potatoes for several years and are committed to organics,” said Brett Dixon, president of Top Brass. “The largest news this year is that we converted 100 percent of our potato business to organics. Now we only grow and sell organic potatoes out of the central valley of California. We offer red, yellow, and russet potatoes. Thankfully potatoes are trending up and have been for Top Brass,” Dixon said. According to him, it just made too much sense not to go in this direction. With the upcoming Organic Produce Summit on its schedule, some of Top Brass’ leaders are looking forward to meeting with their colleagues and customers to talk about why the company decided to move away from conventional potatoes and focus exclusively on organic.“It has been extremely rewarding to see consumers embrace organic produce,” Dixon said. Read more

Scots charging: New and ambitious growth strategy announced for the potato, vegetable and fruit sector in Scotland

From left - James Withers, Fergus Ewing and Allan BowieA group of leading businesses and organisations in Scotland’s potato, fruit, and vegetable industry have come together for the first time to create an ambitious new growth strategy for the sector. Announced over the weekend, Planting the Seeds of Growth identifies the key recommendations to grow the potato, fruit, and vegetable sector by 2030, bringing not just economic benefits but benefits to the nation’s health and to the environment as well. This move by the sector compliments Scotland’s food and drink strategy, Ambition 2030, which aims to double the value of the industry by 2030. The Fruit, Vegetable and Potato Industry Leadership Group (ILG) is the driving force behind the strategy. Allan Bowie, Chair of the Fruit, Vegetable and Potato Industry Leadership Group, said: “There is huge potential for our fruit, vegetable and potato sector to grow, and by bringing leaders from across the industry round the table, we are proud to present this ambitious strategy which is the result of 12 months’ hard work. Read more

Low-carb gold: ‘Lotatoes Potatoes’ campaign the winner of PMA Australia-New Zealand award

Related imageProduce Plus and PMA Australia-New Zealand are pleased to announce the T&G Global Marketing Team as the winner of the Marketer of the Year Award 2018 for the ‘Lotatoes Potatoes’ campaign. The New Zealand-headquartered company was presented with Australasia’s premier marketing award for the fresh fruit, vegetable and floral industries at the Hort Connections conference and trade show in Brisbane. The presentation took place during the event’s Gala Dinner on Wednesday, 20 June. The Lotatoes Potatoes campaign centred around the launch of a new low-carb and low-calorie potato variety. Having observed a consumer trend moving away from high-carbohydrate options among health-conscious consumers in New Zealand, T&G Global specifically sought the low-carb potato variety from its breeding partners. Extensive testing against two of New Zealand’s most common varieties (Rua and Agria) found Lotatoes to be a unique 40 per cent lower carbohydrate product that met the functional and health needs of its target audience. Read more