Potato spend up in 2013 while volumes dipped

AHDB potato retail and foodservice reports reveal fall in demand in year to 8 December 2013.

Highlights include:
· In the 52 weeks to 8 December, expenditure on fresh potatoes increased 21.5% when compared to the previous year. This was driven by the rise in the average retail price, while volumes sold fell 7.9%.

· In the latest 52 weeks, volume sales of chilled potatoes were 4.1% below last year and a similar trend has been seen in the latest 12 weeks. The fall in both cases has been due to fewer households purchasing.

· In an attempt to manage budgets and minimise the impact of price rises when eating out, consumers bought fewer items and they also ate out slightly less often than last year. The average individual spend increased just 0.9% as a result and traffic dipped by 0.7% compared to last year, despite some growth over the summer. Side dish items, such as potatoes, are particularly susceptible to being dropped from food orders. Further details on the impact of this trend on potatoes are on page two of the foodservice report.

· Chips, which account for the majority of potato servings, have recorded a 7.5% fall in servings over the year and this decline has accelerated in the latest quarter.

In an attempt to manage budgets and minimise the impact of price rises, consumers bought fewer items when eating out and they also ate out slightly less often than last year. The average individual spend increased just 0.9% as a result and traffic dipped by 0.7% compared to last year, despite some growth over the summer. Side dish items, such as potatoes, are particularly susceptible to being dropped from food orders.

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