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 

US frozen potato exports up 8% in April; fresh exports down 33%

Related imageAccording to data released by Potatoes USA, exports of frozen potato products increased 8% in volume and 9% in value in April 2018 compared to April 2017. Dehy exports were up 21% in volume and 21% in value. Fresh exports were down 33% in volume and 13% in value. Frozen exports are up 1% for the July – June marketing year through April, with dehy up 5% year to date and fresh up 5% for the marketing year. The decline in fresh sales volume was driven by russets, down 10.3%. On the positive side red sales were up 2.1%, whites up 5%, medleys up 40% and purples up 7.2%. 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

Cool move: Albert Bartlett ventures into chilled potato market; set to open new production plant

Related imageAlbert Bartlett, based in Scotland, is venturing further into the prepared potato market with the development of several chilled potato products. Having already entered the frozen potato market in 2015, the potato supplier is now set to open a new chilled plant at the company headquarters in Airdrie in September. Creating 50 new jobs, the factory will have capability to process 50,000t of potatoes for sale at retail and foodservice. This equates to roughly a third of the current total prepared market. Albert Bartlett confirmed it had already won a three-year contract with one of the big four supermarkets for its new range, but preferred not to specify which. As well as buttery mash, the plant is likely to produce other dishes such as cheesy mash, root veg mash and Colcannon. Potatoes for the new products will be supplied by Albert Bartlett’s group of 85 growers, with producers in Scotland accounting for around 90 per cent of the potatoes used. The move represents a major development for the potato producer, which processes a fifth of the fresh potatoes sold in the UK. Read more

Pick-a-choose your Big Mac: Burger and fry chain to add more customer choice and variety

Love the sauce? Wait for it ...As McDonald’s seeks to modernize its business, the company is placing a big bet on mobile and other tech platforms, including mobile phones. McDonald’s has been systematically adding self-service ordering kiosks and table service to stores as it works to “build a better McDonald’s.” “What we’re finding is when people dwell more, they select more,” CEO Steve Easterbrook told CNBC on “Squawk on the Street” on Monday. In fact, the company plans to upgrade 1,000 stores with this technology every quarter for the next eight to nine quarters. International markets like Canada, Australia and the U.K. are already fully integrated with kiosk service and mobile ordering. “We’re introducing many options,” Esterbrook said. “Customers can order through mobile, they can come curbside and we’ll run it out as well as the existing traditional ways. You can pay in different ways and customize your food in different ways. I think we’re trying to add more choice and variety.” Read the full report on CNBC

A matter of trust: US potato industry supports national standard for accurate product labeling

Related imageThe National Potato Council (NPC) in the US joined more than 60 organizations, representing farmers, manufacturers, small businesses and retailers in supporting the Accurate Labels Act, introduced today. “The potato industry strongly supports this common-sense legislation. Consumers should be provided with information they can trust about the products they purchase. Verifiable science based information should be the foundation of these disclosures,” said John Keeling, Executive VP and CEO of the NPC. The legislation will amend the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act to ensure consumers have access to clear, accurate and meaningful product labels; establish science-based criteria for all state and local labeling requirements that exceed current federal standards. Continue reading

New locally bred gourmet potato variety for specialty markets debuts in the US

Courtesy / University of MainePinto Gold, a new gourmet potato variety developed by the University of Maine’s potato-breeding program, is making its debut in smaller specialty markets. The potato is a high-yielding, yellow-fleshed specialty variety with excellent roasting and eating quality, according to Gregory Porter, who leads UMaine’s potato breeding program. The oblong tubers have a red and yellow “pinto type” skin pattern, which makes them appealing to smaller specialty markets, and the Pinto Gold name highlights the unique skin color pattern and the tubers’ yellow flesh. Porter, a professor of plant, soil, environmental sciences and agronomy, said the potatoes are excellent roasted, but can also be used for boiling, pan frying, baking and in salads. Pinto Gold is the fourth potato variety released by UMaine since 2014. The university, in partnership with the Maine Potato Board, previously released Easton, Sebec and Caribou Russet. More

Irish farmers use glasshouses to deliver on potato deal with Aldi

Picture Conor McCabeKilkenny farmers in Ireland used glasshouses to deliver new season potatoes to Aldi on time as part of a huge €70m deal with the retailer. Aldi today announced it will sell €24 million worth of Irish grown potatoes this year, with New Season Irish Potatoes arriving in select Aldi stores on Thursday May 24. Piltown, Co. Kilkenny based O’Shea’s Farms is supplying the potatoes to Aldi’s stores, with Queens and Home Guard due on shelf imminently and New Season Roosters to follow in August. Thanks to innovative glasshouse growing and harvesting techniques, O’Shea’s Farm will deliver the New Season Irish Potatoes to Aldi’s stores on schedule, despite a difficult 2018 growing period due to adverse weather. James O’Shea of O’Shea Farms said the extremely cold weather and snow in February and March this year posed significant challenges to potato growers nationwide. More

German potato packing firms fined for price fixing

Picture: iStockBundeskartellamt, the German competition authority, imposed fines totalling Euro 13.2m on Hans-Willi Buhmer Verpackung und Vertrieb GmbH Co. KG and Kartoffel-Kuhn GmbH. Buhmer is one of the two main potato and onion packaging plants while Kuhn is only in south-west Germany. They are the major suppliers of packed potatoes and onions to the Metro group. Since early 2005 and until proceedings started in May 2013, the responsible people at the firms had been in regular telephone contact, especially in the run-up to the weekly offer for packed potatoes and onions to the Metro group. Andreas Mundt, president of the Bundeskartellamt, said: “For years the companies concerned have agreed on an important parameter in the calculation of their weekly offers to Metro. By aligning their purchase prices used in the calculation, the two major suppliers of the Metro group virtually eliminated any price competition between them. More

UK: Return to profit for historic potato wholesaler

Return to profit for historic potato wholesalerA historic potato wholesaler headquartered in Macclesfield has returned to profit and increased revenue towards £40m. E Park & Sons was established in 1924. It supplies own-label, branded and bulkware products to the likes of Asda, Aldi, The Co-op and Nisa. Operating from sites in Doncaster, Lincolnshire and Pembroke, it employs a workforce of about 170. For the year to 30 June 2017, E Park & Sons reported revenue of £39.7m compared to £30.8m the previous 12 months. The company also made a pre-tax profit of £1.87m having posted a loss of £2.77m in 2017. Directors welcomed the return to profit on the back of the previous period, which they said had been “disappointing”. Directors have committed to continuing to invest in new plant and machinery in a bid to further increase productivity. A number of key areas of the business have also been strengthened. More

PepsiCo to introduce Australian deli potato chips to US consumers

PepsiCo to introduce Red Rock Deli potato chips to the USPepsiCo is set to bring the Australian potato chip brand Red Rock Deli to the US for the first time. The US Red Rock Deli brand will join PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, and the brand’s initial product range will include three flavours of potato chips: Red Curry and Coconut, Himalayan Pink Salt and Lime and Cracked Pepper. Made with rough-cut potatoes and cooked in sunflower oil, the snacks contain no artificial colours or flavours and are non-GMO project verified. Stuart Beck, senior marketing director for Frito-Lay North America, said: “Red Rock Deli is a brand that is rooted in a philosophy of unique and elevated flavour experiences. “We saw an opportunity to bring this distinctly different snacking experience to the cities here in the U.S. that are always hungry for new culinary trends and elevated snacks.” More

US: Unique potato marketing effort enjoying success

Image result for Fresh Solutions NetworkThe concept of produce growers banding together for marketing purposes but keeping their own identity is relatively unique, but it is working quite well for eight potato grower-shippers spread out across the United States and Canada. Fresh Network Solutions, LLC and its Side Delights® brand of fresh potatoes are moving into its second decade of existence with a full slate of eight partners and more than a couple of dozen SKUs including many unique value-added options ranging from potato kits to fresh-cuts to organics. “We’ve hit our stride with our membership,” said Kathleen Triou, Chief Executive Officer and President of the San Francisco-based marketing organization.  “Any more partners and we would be redundant in some areas; any less and we wouldn’t have national coverage.” Triou said the group represents a significant percentage of fresh U.S. potato supply in aggregate, which gives it sufficient volume to negotiate with the largest retailers in the county on year-round programs. Triou believes that Fresh Solutions Network has its collective finger on the pulse of the North American shopper. “We see continued opportunities in the convenience sector of the category,” she said. More

Irish-made Keogh’s Crisps secure major contract with the largest international airline in the world

Derek, Tom and Ross Keogh at the launch of Keogh's crisps on Keogh's Farm, Oldtown. BELOW: Brothers,Keogh’s Crisps of North Dublin has secured a major contract with Emirates, the largest international airline in the world, which will see an estimated one million bags being served onboard annually. The premium Irish brand will be available to First Class passengers only and was selected by the Emirates  Group following a blind tasting of 15 different brands, of which Keogh’s came out top. The Irish-made crisps will be served onboard Emirates flights as part of the airline’s First Class Hot Sandwiches and Snacks service and as an accompaniment to drinks. The announcement was made today at Marketplace International, Bord Bia’s annual food buyer event in Dublin, where the two brands were first introduced in 2016. More

How can tech bring the supply chain of tomorrow to the food industry of today?

The global food supply chain is plagued by billions of tons of food waste due to inefficient sorting and grading systems. And the wealth of data available from millions of devices throughout the supply chain isn’t being integrated and connected to optimize production. The future is bright. As technology becomes more advanced across these areas, the global food industry will become far more efficient and effective. But what innovations are coming, and how will they bring the future of food industry to the supply chain of today? Here are some of the key technologies and processes that businesses will see more and more in coming years: Article by Greg Saint James, strategic marketing director, TOMRA Food. More