British chips to become much shorter

Image result for british fish and chipsBritons will be served up shorter chips this year as potato farmers across Europe struggle to cope with the worst summer drought for decades. Britain eats 1.75 million tonnes of frozen chips every year and is, alongside the US, the world’s largest importer of the product. Almost all frozen fry imports to Britain, about 750,000 tonnes, come from the Netherlands and Belgium. The hot weather and lack of rain has hit European crop yields, resulting in a drop of about 20% in Northern Europe, and made the potatoes, usually the size of a small brick, smaller. That will mean smaller, shorter chips, potato experts in Britain and Belgium have warned. “This was the hottest British summer since 1976, which any potato person will tell you was an almost mythical year,” said Cedric Porter, editor of World Potato Markets, “it is still talked about in potato circles. The chips are down,” he said, “You can expect smaller chips in Britain and in Europe.” Read more

Bord Bia gears up for Ireland’s National Potato Day 2018

Spuds up: Bord Bia gears up for National Potato Day 2018Bord Bia has announced the details of this year’s National Potato Day which takes place on Friday, October 5. The annual celebration honours Ireland’s most loved crop and encourages consumers to recognise its nutritional value and experiment with new and exciting recipes. This year Bord Bia is asking people to “Imagine a world without potatoes?” Tying in with a global campaign theme which highlights the importance and value of the worlds third most important food crop  – which places after rice and wheat in terms of human consumption. On the day, a range of events, talks and promotional activity will take place around the country to celebrate Ireland’s champion vegetable. Read more

Germany faces ‘severe potato shortage’ and increase in consumer prices, farm organization warns

Related imageGermany faces a severe potato shortage as a consequence of unusually hot and dry weather this summer, the German Farming Society (DLG) warned on Wednesday. “We are expecting one of the smallest potato harvests of all times in Germany”, Martin Umhau, a member of the DLG supervisory board, told the German press agency (dpa). According to Umhau, an anticipated fall in potato yields from 11.7 million tons in 2017 to 8.5 million tons in 2018 could hereby lead to an increase in consumer prices by up to 30 percent. Umhau was speaking ahead of the start of PotatoEurope 2018 in Germany this past Wednesday. Potato farmers are one of several agricultural sectors in the country who said they face the prospect of widespread crop failures due to the hot and dry summer. Federal and state-level governments announced that they would set aside 340 million euros (394 million U.S. dollars) in financial aid for farmers who suffered particularly heavy losses. Read more

Europe: French fries feel the pinch as hot summer frazzles potato market

file6ucrflv77s7cmsp8kic.jpgWhether you call them chips, frites or French fries, it’s shaping up to be a bad year for potato lovers. The record-breaking heatwave and lack of rain across Europe has hurt potato crops, with prices tripling in the UK in August from a year earlier. That’s forced fish and chip shops to charge more for a portion of fries that form one half of the traditional British staple. Further price hikes loom, said Andrew Crook, president of the federation representing more than 10,000 fish and chip shops across the country. “It’s going to be a disaster for us this year,” said Crook, who started helping in the family chippy at the age of nine. “I’ve never seen prices of potatoes be that high at this time of the year. We are getting squeezed.” In the UK, a metric ton of fresh potatoes surged to 300 pounds (S$536.32) last month, the third-highest on records going back to the 1950s. Read more

The story and pride behind Lay’s potato chips

PHOTO: A display of PepsiCo Frito-Lay potato chip snacks in a supermarket in New York, Feb. 12, 2015. It’s an American-made classic by an American inventor that has become a summertime staple for any barbecue table: Lay’s potato chips. H.W. Lay was a traveling salesman during the Great Depression when he started peddling chips out of the back of his Model A in 1931. It was how he made a living across the Southeast, said Chris Quinn, senior vice president of sales at Frito-Lay. “He believed in giving the most affordable prices and the highest quality products at an arm’s reach of every consumer,” Quinn said. Around the same time, C.E. Doolin was buying the recipe for another American classic: Frito corn chips. Doolin started making them out of his mother’s kitchen. Nearly three decades later, the two of them joined forces to create Frito-Lay. It was 1961. Now, years later, in 2018,the potatoes still come from farmers across America. Quinn said Frito-Lay sourced from 120 different farms in 25 states including Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Washington, Maine and California. Read more

Potatoes USA change the spud story as new ‘fuel for athletes’

Potatoes are no longer just those beige, lumpy things you were served up as a kid. A new marketing campaign focusing on real science is attempting to change the spud story by billing it as a vital ingredient to your workout/diet plan and a fuel for athletes. Potatoes USA, an organization for America’s 2,500 commercial potato growers, teamed up with Sterling Rice Group (SRG) to develop a series of short digital spots touting the tagline: “Potatoes. Real Food. Real Performance.” “The potato undeniably works in the athlete’s favor,” said Blair Richardson, Potatoes USA president and CEO. “The message is clear: If potatoes can fuel elite athletes, they can fuel your active life, too.” The brand has conducted extensive research on the benefits of potatoes and found that most people don’t consider it a performance food and are surprised to learn of its nutritional benefits. Read more

McCain to hike prices as Britain’s potato product prices set to soar

The price of chips, crisps and other potato products is set to soar due to scorching temperatures in recent months that have damaged crops. Frozen chip maker McCain is understood to be hiking the price paid by supermarkets as much as 20 per cent as farmers struggle with major potato shortages following a two-month heatwave. Family favourites such as Walkers Crisps and potato waffle maker Birds Eye are also thought to mulling price increases. With production down, frozen potato supplier McCain’s will reportedly increase prices by 20% at the start of September in anticipation of the supply fall. And while this subsector has recently undercut total food inflation, other suppliers will likely follow suit. So the major grocers will face tough decisions should supplier prices rise. ‘Personally, I think the price rise from McCain is two months premature since volumes won’t be significantly affected until November,’ a source told Fresh Produce Journal. Read more

Walmart helps Idaho tackle cause of rejected potato loads

igsa18-karst-08-Mike-ThorntonUniversity of Idaho researchers are working with Walmart to look at the reasons behind rejected or downgraded potato loads at the chain’s distribution centers. Nora Olsen, professor and extension specialist at the University of Idaho, and Mike Thornton, professor of plant science at the university, explained their efforts in a Aug. 29 session at the Idaho Grower Shippers Association annual meeting. Thornton said the research began about a year and a half ago when the Idaho Potato Commission inquired how the industry could reduce quality issues on arrival. Large retailers, including Walmart, indicate that quality problems tend to happen when shippers switch from russet norkotahs to russet burbanks and when growers transition from old crop to new crop potatoes, he said. Finding solutions is important not only to reduce rejections but to also deliver better quality potatoes to consumers who may see bruising when they take potatoes home from the store, Thornton said. Read more

US: Wada-Genesis partnership bringing year-round organic potatoes

Image result for genesis organicsWada Farms Marketing Group has strategically partnered with premier organic packer Genesis Organics located in southern Idaho. This new exclusive partnership provides new avenues for growth in the organic potato category with most notable being a longer supply availability to service all retail and foodservice industries on a year-round basis. “The demand for organic produce continues to grow in an exponential fashion. Customers are asking for more organic options when it comes to potatoes, and we are proud to be able to respond to that demand,” said Kevin Stanger, president of Wada Farms Marketing. “This new partnership will further enhance our ability to be a one-stop shop pertaining to all things organic and conventional in the potato world. We’re taking the pressure off buyers having to source from multiple locations throughout the year. At the end of the day, we can provide fresh organic options with efficient, convenient supply chain solutions.” Read The Packer report

Higher consumer prices expected for potatoes in India, says trader

Related imageAccording to Mr S.K. Gautam, CEO of NR Tradewind Services Pvt Ltd in Delhi, higher consumer prices for potatoes can be expected during the next four months in India. Mr Gautam says this trend is confirmed by several market sources and is indicative of the current scenario caused by heavy rains and floods across many regions in India. “The good to heavy rains in the states of Karnatka, Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh, besides the flood situation in Kerala, is expected to cause this trend since fresh and green vegetable availability will be very limited,” he says. “Heavy rains and floods will lead to a demand and supply gap especially in the southern region of India.” Mr Gautam also points out that the storage of potato was lower initially at the time of harvest compared to last year. “The estimated storage figures of the different states, for this current production year, was quite low compare to 100% storage last year,” he says.  Continue reading

Potatoes fight back: Despite recent reports to the contrary, British consumers still love potatoes

Related imageThis week, media reports surfaced that ‘potato consumption is down 5%’. This is simply not the case, says industry organization AHDB Potatoes. The latest figures from Kantar WorldPanel, which covers data from all retailers, shows a 2.6% rise in consumption of potatoes since 2015, the organization says. Kantar data also shows a successive year-on-year increase since 2015 in frequency of purchase among younger consumers (22-44 year olds). One positive from the ‘news’ that potato sales are ‘down’ was that many people rushed to defend the spud. A few highlights from positive reports include a response from Hazel Flight, programme lead for nutrition and health at Edge Hill University, who said: “For a nutritious vegetable which will power up your performance – look no further than the humble spud.” In her article in Fresh Produce Journal, ​In defence of potatoes. The writers at top-website-for-youngsters The Pool say they are all for tatties..Even the BBC, who aired a show bashing spuds in July, marked their own homework and said they had mislead consumers.Read more on the AHDB Potatoes site

New Zealanders take a closer look at ‘the good oil on fish and chips’

Seafood Bazaar manager Petrina Taua-Hunt says the Hamilton business prides itself on serving top quality fish and chips.While other countries regulate fryer fat use, experts in New Zealand say degraded oils at its favourite chippies is concerning. The key to producing good fish and chips is to use top-quality oil, filter the frying vats each day, regularly change the oil, and cook oils at the right temperature. But industry experts say not all fast food operators are making the health grade, and neighbourhood chippies are some of the worst offenders. Chemist Dr Laurence Eyres, a specialist in oils and fats, says the prevalence of fast food outlets using old degraded oils is concerning. “How often have you been in a fish and chip shop and it makes your eyes water because they are using the cooking fat well past its shelf life? It’s these oils that can have high levels of nasty compounds and which can be bad for you.”  Continue reading

Global Affairs Canada, Mccain support potato variety development in Andean countries

Related imageA marriage of scientific knowledge and traditional practice has led to the development of three highly nutritious, robust, and productive yellow potato varieties in the Andean region. Researchers from Colombia and Canada are working with public and private sector partners to increase production and consumption of this nutritious and all-natural food staple across Colombia and other Andean countries, particularly Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. This is a partnership between the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and McGill University in Canada, which developed the improved varieties, with support from private sector organizations, including Campo Vivo (McCain) and others. Malnutrition and iron deficiency are prevalent among many rural Colombians, especially young children. That is expected to change with the introduction of three high quality yellow potato cultivars selected by farmers, breeders and scientists. The initiative will benefit at least 1.5 million consumers.  Continue reading

Research report: Promising outlook for global potato chips market

The Global Potato Chips Market reached 26.5bn Euros by the end of 2017, with an average annual volume percent growth of 5.9% over the 2012-2017 period. According to Alan Deane, founding partner of research company Food for Thought (FFT): “At the top end of the market on a per capita basis in 2017, Ireland leads at 4.4 kgs per capita, followed by the United Kingdom (3.5) and Canada (3.4). This then drops rapidly for Spain (2) and the USA (2.32). This last surprisingly low figure in the USA owes much to alternative snacks such as popcorn and corn-based tortilla chips. The following 10 countries are in the 1 to 2 kg/capita range.”  Continue reading

Potato industry to sell spuds as performance-boosting

Image result for performance potatoesThe US potato industry is making a strong statement about potatoes to demonstrate the performance-boosting benefits of America’s favorite vegetable. Potatoes USA, a Denver-based national marketing group representing 2,500 growers and handlers, worked with its members to identify a nutrition-based lifestyle benefit that challenges consumers’ preconceived notions about potatoes. Extensive research led to a marketing strategy based on a key truth: Potatoes fuel performance. Potatoes provide the energy, potassium and complex carbohydrate people need to perform at their best, according to a release from Potatoes USA. Potatoes contain many important nutrients that athletes seek. “The potato undeniably works in the athlete’s favor,” says Blair Richardson, Potatoes USA President/CEO. “The message is clear: If potatoes can fuel elite athletes, they can fuel your active life, too.” Read more