Robinson Fresh and Albert Bartlett bring British potatoes to North America

Robinson Fresh and Albert Bartlett bring premium potatoes to North America. (Photo: Albert Bartlett)Robinson Fresh®, a division of C.H. Robinson, is now the exclusive provider of Albert Bartlett potatoes in North America. Albert Bartlett is a leader in the fresh and frozen potato market for the United Kingdom, and is increasing its presence in North America with headquarters in Denver and growers throughout the continent. “When we heard Albert Bartlett was looking for opportunities to further expand into the North American market, we knew we wanted to get involved,” said Michael Castagnetto, vice president of global sourcing at Robinson Fresh. “Albert Bartlett plays in a unique space in the food industry that we see as the forefront of consumer trends — the company prioritizes flavor to drive the category and provides a premium option to offer a meaningful culinary experience. As Michelin-star chefs and home cooks alike are utilizing this product, we believe this is the future direction of the produce industry.” More

US: RPE to feature new product innovations at Fresh Summit

What’s new in the fresh potato category? From RPE, Inc. a new potato item, a unique approach for commodity product and fresh innovations that add value for both consumers and retailers alike. New featured item: SteamPak Mini™, for the health conscious and on-the-go consumer, is a single-serve package of fresh potatoes. Microwaving in four minutes for a great snack or side dish, SteamPak Mini has no additives and addresses a trend toward smaller pack sizes and a desire from consumers to reduce food waste. Unique approach for commodity product: Old Oak Farms® Party Potatoes, offered exclusively by RPE, are fingerling potatoes re-imagined with precise size specifications. RPE will also highlight Tasteful Selections Steam & Savor™ steamable bags featuring Organic Mini Sweet Potatoes, and White Russet® brand potatoes. More

Uganda: GMO potatoes expected to reach store shelves in 2020

Scientists say the first batch of locally grown genetically modified potatoes will be on sale in Ugandan retail markets in 2020. Dr Alex Barekye, the director of Kachwekano Zonal Agriculture Research Institute in the western district of Rubanda, said agricultural biotechnology research on potatoes is underway to create a genetically modified variety that will be resistant to diseases. Barekye said three trials have been conducted on the Victoria potato variety and so far, tests did not find any disease, yet the yield is high. “When we look at all the products in the GMO line and look at the duration of the crop, I think potatoes will be the first GMO crop to be commercially available in Uganda. We have conducted three trials and found that the disease is not there. The yield is good and there is nothing that has changed,” Dr. Barekye told The Observer in an interview during the World Food day celebrations in Rubanda on October 16. More

‘Chipocalypse’ in New Zealand as wild weather spikes price of potatoes

ChipsThe “chipocalypse” has reached New Zealand, after heavy rain caused a shortage of potato crops and a spike in prices. Supermarkets have been forced to place signs in their chip shelves, explaining to hungry customers why the beloved snack is out of sto“It started raining in March, and it just simply hasn’t stopped,” Chris Claridge, head of trade association Potatoes New Zealand, told Radio Live NZ. “Potatoes are actually alive — they need to breathe. And so, effectively, they drown and then they start to rot… because they’re submerged in water.” Two major floods have wiped out around one fifth of crops, with some regions seeing 30 percent of crops destroyed. Around 75,000 tonnes of potatoes are made into chips every year, which means these shortages will will havea detrimental effect on the snack. This shortage of potatoes has filtered down to food prices. In New Zealand, wIn New Zealand, where a kilogram of potatoes cost $1.28 last August, it’s now shot up to $1.67 this year. Potato chips are even scarce on shelves. Potato chips are even scarce on shelves. More

US: Food service professionals tour Idaho potato harvest

Kevin Stanger, with Wada Farms in Pingree, Idaho, leads food service professionals on a tour of his facility. The tour was sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission.Twice each week, Egan Click, with Sysco Corp. in Chicago, inspects 100,000-pound rail loads of Idaho potatoes to make certain they meet customers’ size and quality specifications. But Click acknowledges that prior to participating in an Idaho Potato Commission-sponsored harvest tour, he didn’t fully appreciate the “unbelievable” process Idaho growers, packers and shippers follow to meet the standards associated with their state’s seal. Click was among the 28 professionals within the growing food service category IPC included in a Sept. 26-29 tour. Participants representing major potato markets such as Illinois, California, Texas and New York toured potato harvest, a fresh packing operation, a dehydrated potato plant and a frozen potato processing plant. Don Odiorne, IPC’s vice president of food service, said the food service professionals head home with photographs and stories about Idaho potato production to share with their staffs and may become “brand advocates.” More

Heavy demand for health foods: Manufacturers of potato chips are tapping in on trend

Image result for potato chipsTechnavio’s latest market research report on the global potato chips market provides an analysis on the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2017-2021. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline. Manufacturers of potato chips are tapping in on the heavy demand for health foods by offering chips made from healthy ingredients, according to Technavio’s research. They often promote their products with health claims. The demand for functional and non-GMO ingredients is high due to the rising cases of obesity, diabetes, gluten allergy, and other maladies. Good Health Natural Products, a US-based potato chips manufacturer, introduced two new products under its Good Ingredient product range: Good Health Olive Oil Kettle Chips and Good Health Avocado Oil Kettle Chips. Continue reading

Studies show increase of global market for processed potato products

Reports made by research companies show the increase of the global market for processed potato products. Although the increase is not high, it has been a steady one in the past three years. PotatoBusiness.com analyzed two reports regarding the potato chips market and frozen finger potato chips. The global potato chips market will grow at a CAGR of 4.58% during the period 2017-2021, according to the “Global Potato Chips Market 2017-2021” report recently launched by Research and Markets. The latest trend gaining momentum in the market is the innovative product offerings. Manufacturers of potato chips are tapping on the heavy demand for health foods by offering chips made from healthy ingredients. The demand for functional and non-GMO ingredients is high due to the rising cases of obesity, diabetes, gluten allergy, and other maladies. More

Belgium: VDH Concept launches new packaging with net structure perforation

VDH Concept launches a new type of retail potato packagingVDH Concept, a Belgian company specializing in retail packaging for potatoes, vegetables and fruit, has recently introduced SQ Pack, a new packaging with a net structure perforation. According to Jan van den Heuvel, owner of VDH Concept bvba, “Allowing net structure perforations is a new way of packaging and is suitable for a lot of products, including potatoes and onions, but also citrus and bulbs. As the small holes in the foil let air in, the product is better able to breath and it extends the shelf life. There are different designs of the packaging available. The SQ-pack is available as a ‘pillow bag’, quadroseal (standing bag), doy pack or with side folding. With the foil we mainly focus on shelf life.” Customers can choose different ‘window shapes’ which are simulated as a net structure. More

Japan’s potato chip makers battle it out as spud supplies recover

Japan’s potato chip makers battle it out as spud supplies recoverFive months after a potato shortages caused a halt in the sales of some potato chip products, competition is now intensifying between two major snack makers as they return to normal operations. Calbee Inc. and rival Koike-Ya Inc. will resume sales of almost all of their potato chip brands within the month, after securing an adequate supplies of potatoes. The two companies also plan to launch new snack products. The companies suspended or ended sales of some brands of their potato chips this spring, after a poor potato crop in Hokkaido due to flood damage caused by typhoons last summer. Since then, Calbee has made efforts to diversify its sources of raw materials. Koike-Ya plans to promote mechanization and expand joint operations to deal with manpower shortages at farms. More

Maris Piper still king but British growers use new varieties to meet retail demand

British potato growers have planted an increased area of emerging varieties to serve the fresh packing market, amid reports of increased levels of ‘on-contract’ supermarket supply where prices are agreed in advance. However, Maris Piper comfortably remains the most planted potato, with three times more area than the next most popular fresh packing variety. The varieties that have gained the most area this season are fresh packing potatoes Nectar and Melody, which increased their area by 1,000 hectares (ha) and 700 ha respectively. Both are more recent introductions to the UK market than Estima, which has decreased in area by an estimated 400 ha this season. AHDB Potatoes Market Intelligence Analyst, Amber Cottingham said: “The packing market has seen another increase in area this season, with acreage intended for processing declining once more. This may be due to a reported increase in contracts offered in the packing market as retailers seek to reduce the financial fluctuations they encounter in meeting demand.  Continue reading

What can caterers do to rehabilitate the potato, cash in on its plus points? Advice from leading companies

Bannisters' Farm cheese and bacon-filled potato skins

In an article written for The Caterer, author Anne Bruce writes: “The potato may not enjoy the health kudos of other vegetables, but caterers can turn its enormous versatility and widespread popularity to good account by developing premium products that boost consumer spend. Where would a restaurant be without potatoes? …So what can caterers do to rehabilitate the potato, cash in on its plus points and get maximum value from potato-based products?” Bruce interviewed spokespeople from several leading potato companies in the UK and Ireland on their viewpoints. Nigel Phillips, UK & Ireland country sales manager at potato supplier Lamb Weston, says potatoes are a great host for all sorts of toppings and can benefit from trends such as street food. Mohammed Essa, general manager of Aviko UK & Ireland, says the biggest margins will be made on innovative, premium products that give customers value for money, and something different from what they would eat at home. Convenience remains key to operators when using potatoes, says supplier Farm FritesContinue reading

‘Meat attack’ – Meat snacks clock faster growth than potato chips, says Mintel

Image result for snack attack chips  funnyMeat snacks are the third biggest category of salty snacks in the US and also the fastest-growing sub-segment, according to Mintel. research figures Sales of meat snacks – such as jerky, pork scratchings, salami sticks, kabanosy (Polish pork sausage) and biltong (a spicy South African dried meat snack) – are on the rise as consumers search for high protein, low carb snacks, reported the market researcher. Value sales in the US grew over 6% between 2015 and 2016, following a 12% growth between 2014 and 2015. Dollar sales of meat snacks at $3.3bn still lagged behind potato chips – ($8.2bn) in 2016 – but meat snack sales growth well surpassed that of potato chips (which was up 1.3% between 2015 and 2016). IRI and Mintel data also pointed to volume growth of 11% in the UK, making meat snacks one of the fastest growing segments in the UK snack market, second only to popcorn; while, in Germany, consumers of meat snacks rose from 8% in 2012 to 24% in 2016. More

Nielsen research confirms that microwaveable category is strong and leading US brand is outpacing competition

A recent study on the microwaveable/steamable fresh potato segment conducted by Nielsen FreshFacts® highlights the continuing positive performance of this segment led by Side Delights® Steamables™ – which accounts for more than half of all dollar sales in the category. Potatoes still lead as the #1 ranked vegetable based on volume sales, and the microwavable/steamable potato segment growth trend continues – up 12.6% in volume sales and up 28.4% in dollar sales versus last year. Side Delights® Steamables dominate with 62% of the dollar share and 63% of the volume share in the segment despite a comparatively smaller product grouping than the competition (6 items for Side Delights® Steamables versus 25 items for the competition). Additionally, Side Delights® Steamables’ dollar velocity outpaced the competition, selling faster than any of the other brands. The top two selling Side Delights® Steamables items (in dollar and volume) are the Red and Golden potatoes, which increased their distribution 18.2% and 15.8% respectively vs YAGO. Side Delights® Steamables are available exclusively through the Fresh Solutions Network. Continue reading

‘A dedicated focus on kids’ the reason for Potato Corner’s global french fry success, says CEO

ABS/CBN News reports from Manila in the Philippines that Potato Corner CEO Joe Magsaysay built the french fries brand into a global franchise business with annual sales of P1 billion. The business today has more than 500 outlets in the Philippines and around the world. In a publication by the Asian Institute of Management, where he obtained a masters degree in entrepreneurship, Magsaysay shared how he, as a 25-year-old food cart pioneer, succeeded in his quest. “If you want a brand to stick, market it to kids,” Magsaysay said, adding that the current millennial customers of Potato Corner are the same children who bought his products when it started 24 years ago. “When you market to teenagers and adults, they will shift to the next big thing. But kids? No, once you get them, they’re yours for life,” he said.  Continue reading