Since public health restrictions for COVID-19 were put in place, potato sales at retail have been well above historical levels. This has continued throughout the summer, even as some of these restrictions have been relaxed. For the period from March 16 – September 6, 2020, sales of potatoes have been up every week, and the total value and volume are up 22% over the same period in 2019.
All categories, except prepared sides at the deli (many of which have been closed or refigured), have shown increases but the largest gains were for canned, dehydrated, and frozen potatoes. Fresh potatoes have also fared very well, with a 24% increase in volume and a 33% increase in value. Potato chips, the largest category at retail, has also performed well; up 8% in volume and 15% in value.
The greater increases in the dollar sales over volume reflects significant increases in the price per pound through the summer. The largest increases in price per pound were refrigerated and fresh potatoes, up 7.6% and 7% compared to the same timeframe in 2019.