AHDB - Market Intelligence June 2019

Potatoes: Diets are shifting all over Asia

Domestic processing capacity and production of processing potato varieties is often insufficient to meet this growing demand, leaving many countries reliant on imported products. Frozen potato products are in hot demand in regions where Western-style fast-food restaurants are becoming more common. Snacking products are in growth across the region, driven by busy, urban workers, consuming on the go.

Frozen Food service is driving demand for frozen potato products, with French fries becoming more popular with customers who have increasingly westernised diets. Japan imports the highest amount of frozen potato products in the region, shipping 354 thousand tonnes in 2018, nearly all of which were French fries. Most of the domestic potato supply is consumed as table potatoes, with only 1% going into the production of French fries.

The USA supplies the bulk of frozen French fry imports, but under the new EU–Japan trade deal, tariffs will be slowly reduced to zero over the next four years, making EU exports more competitive. Post-Brexit, the UK has an opportunity to discuss access rights but should be aware of these types of existing EU trade deals.

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