McCain Foods is delaying the expansion of its potato processing facility in Othello, Washington, due to the current pandemic. The project at the facility would have added another 170,000 square feet to the plant for a new processing line for battered and conventional French fries. Due for completion early next year, it was budgeted at $300 million, making it third by cost on Food Processing’s list of food company capital projects.
The pandemic has created a backlog in supplies of frozen French fries, since the restaurants that serve much of them have been shut down or drastically reduced in volume. According to PotatoBusiness.com, up to 10% of last year’s potato crop in Washington state could still be in warehouses when this year’s crop is ready for harvesting.