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Potatoes continue to gain popularity

Fresh Solutions Network announced the important role of its network of farmers and potato products. In a newly released report, Potato Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022-27), experts noted positive trends in the potato market during the future forecast period as potatoes continue to gain popularity during concerns over food security, inflation, supply constraints, and health.

The indicators of food security — food availability, food access, food use and quality as well as production stability — have all been affected by recent events, putting additional strain on the already unstable global agri-food system. Potatoes, which have historically played a role in ensuring food security and been a reliable food source during challenging times, are once again increasing in demand.

Many retailers, nutritionists and consumers already know that potatoes are a fat-free, sodium-free, source of important nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, and are a great antioxidant. During the pandemic, the World Health Organization issued nutrition advice for adults during the COVID-19 outbreak, leading with the recommendation to eat fresh and unprocessed foods every day, with a list that included potatoes.

According to the International Potato Center, COVID-19 drove up demand for potatoes in grocery stores due to their long shelf-life and affordability.

“Inflation, supply restrictions, and food insecurity are top of mind for consumers right now, and Fresh Solutions Network farmers are growing their Side Delights brand of fresh potatoes that meet these needs,” said Kathleen Triou, president and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network. “Potatoes are the perfect food. Not only are they available, affordable, nutritious, and have a long shelf-life, but they are a delicious part of any meal. In summary, they are simply delightful — that is, Side Delights-ful.

“Currently the Russet market is extremely tight, and will remain so until new crop becomes available," added Triou. "The Network's supply partner in Washington estimated a delay in harvest this year, but excellent growing conditions recently helped them catch up.  In Idaho, we still have about a month or so to catch up, yet we are still estimating a week to 10 days delay in harvest.  We continue to prioritize and plan carefully to meet our retail supply needs.  New crop red and yellow potatoes will become available in Washington starting next week."

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