Volume gains in retail offset out of home losses for potatoes

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Potato consumption has remained resilient over the past six months, despite closures in the foodservice market. Strong retail sales led to an overall 12% volume increase for potatoes (fresh and processed, including crisps) in the six months to 9 August, according to AHDB estimates based on Kantar data.

Retail volumes

Over the 24 weeks ending (w/e) 9 August, retail sales volumes of potatoes and potato products rose by 21% (190kt) – well ahead of the total food and non-alcoholic drink uplift of 14%. Both fresh potato sales and processed potato product sales were robust, with volumes up 23% and 17% respectively (processed includes frozen, chilled and ambient products as well as crisps).

Out-of-home volumes (including takeaways)

The return of big fast food brands in June helped lift takeaway volumes of potatoes. However, non-takeaway volumes of potatoes (including dine-in and on-the-go consumption) typically account for around 60% total out-of-home potato volumes. Therefore, closures between March and July led to estimated out-of-home volumes of potatoes declining by 42% (62kt).

Impact on chip shops

While people were allowed out to collect takeaways during lockdown, the early weeks saw people shy away from doing so. This resulted in a big reduction in chip shop chip volumes, however the estimated decline is far shallower than the loss for chips, fries and wedges consumed through all other outlets. This meant that, based on AHDB estimates, chips sold via fish and chip shops accounted for a bigger share of total out-of-home volumes of potatoes in the 24 w/e 9 August 20.

More analysis on the fresh chipping market will be available on the Potato Market Analysis page on our website and linked to in our Potato Weekly publication.

Read more about how the potatoes compare to other categories in our main update.

Out-of-home volumes include takeaway, dine-in and on-the-go.
Public Sector (e.g. schools, hospitals) not captured