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Tight supplies pressure Wisconsin potato pricing

Demand is on the quieter side for storage Wisconsin russet potatoes. However, this is consistent with historical potato movement at this time of year.

“Overall, the potato market continues to remain strong with tight supplies driving up potato prices,” says Christine Lindner, Alsum Farms & Produce Marketing Manager. “The outlook looks to hold strong at this level for the rest of the storage season. Our Wisconsin storage crop russet potato stocks on hand are a manageable supply with the majority being a baker-size profile. The quality of our russets in storage will yield a higher percentage of No. 1s.”

Larry Alsum, President & CEO of Alsum Farms & Produce, gives a tour to the Potatoes USA team in mid-November.

In all, Alsum is on track to finish up its storage crop at the end of July and then transition into new crop harvest in early August. While its primary growing region is Wisconsin, it also markets other Midwestern-grown potatoes by its partner farms.

Varietal demand
As for demand, “specific to the Midwest market, consumers seek out local and Wisconsin-grown potatoes are positioned to fill that market demand,” says Lindner. That demand also looks strong--Potatoes USA reports that consumers continued to buy fresh potatoes at strong volumes as dollar sales were up for nearly all fresh potato types from July to September 2022. While Russet potatoes are down in volume, they still remain the top volume share among all fresh potato types at 59 percent. After that, yellow potatoes were up by 16 percent in dollars and 13 percent volume sales. Petite potatoes were up by 9 percent in dollars and 4 percent volume sales.

Lindner confirms that both gold and petite potatoes continue to grow in consumer demand and anticipates that demand will remain healthy for potatoes given the value buy associated with it. “They are a highly versatile vegetable that has a longer shelf life than other fresh produce items and are packed full of nutrition,” says Lindner. “Retailers can leverage these attributes as a go-to staple for home cooks to bring together delicious, nutritious meals for their family at an already excellent value.”

Right: Alsum Farms & Produce associate packs creamer potatoes.

With St. Patrick’s Day just over a month away on March 17, Lindner also adds that red potato movement will see an uptick in holiday demand. “The red potato is also an excellent value buy potato as demand for this potato type continues to soften.”

As such, the stronger demand coupled with the tighter supply is pushing up pricing. In addition, supply chain challenges along with the continuously climbing costs of business are also all putting upward pressure on pricing.

For more information:
Christine Lindner
Alsum Farms & Produce
Tel: +1 (920) 348-6774       

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