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Potato market reveals pandemic influence

Both potatoes and grains turn into sugar once processed by our bodies. They're also zinc eaters, which is a critical mineral to maintain skin health.

DENVER, Co. (KIFI/KIDK)-The U.S. Potato market experienced an unusual year.  All told, Potatoes USA says there was a 5% decline in the utilization of potatoes grown in the United States during the July 2019 to June 2020 marketing year.

Retail sales of potato products increased 9%, but there was a 13% decrease in sales to the foodservice sector and a 2% decrease in exports.

At the same time, the decline was compounded by a 7% increase in imported potatoes at the end of the marketing year. If not for that, the marketing group said sales to food service, retail, and exports of American production were up for the period of July through December, 2019.

Foodservice, or fresh market, potato sales have been accounting for a greater share of total potato sales, peaking at 58% in marketing year 2019.  That trend ended in the 2020 marketing year, with the foodservice share dropping to 53% of the total.  Since full-service restaurants suffered a big decline in sales, fresh potato sales to that sector were down by 19%.

Retail potato sales were up 8.7%, an increase of 1.3 million pounds.  Potato chips were the largest volume category and increased by 5.5%. But, from a percentage perspective, frozen and dehydrated potatoes saw the largest growth.  Both increased by 5.5%.

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