Potatoes in Canada

Features Business Management Markets and Marketing
‘Strong consumer demand’: Fresh storage holdings 11.3 per cent below three-year average

The shift in demand from restaurants to grocery stores is revealing itself in low storage holdings in fresh potatoes and above average holdings for processing potatoes. 


Canadian Fresh Potato Storage Holdings by province as of May 1, 2020. Source: UPGC.

The amount of potatoes in storage for Canada’s fresh potato sector is 11.3 per cent below the three-year average as of May 1, 2020, according to the United Potato Growers of Canada’s (UPGC) latest update.

UPGC attributes the lower volumes in storage to increased demand from consumers who are opting to cook potatoes with their meals as they stay at home. For the past seven weeks, as consumers stay at home in response to COVID-19, the potato industry is facing a shift of demand away from restaurants to grocery stores.

The shift in demand is revealing itself in low storage holdings in fresh potatoes and above average holdings for processing potatoes. Fresh storage holdings in Canada are 11.3 per cent below the three-year average, while processing storage holdings in Canada are 4.2 per cent above the three-year average.

The provinces that have seen the largest differences are Alberta, New Brunswick, and British Columbia. In Alberta, fresh potato storage is 75.7 per cent lower than the three-year average. In New Brunswick and British Columbia, it’s 51.8 per cent and 21.5 per cent below the three-year average respectively.

Prince Edward Island and Ontario are the only two provinces with holdings above their three-year average. In Prince Edward Island, fresh storage is 5.7 per cent above the three-year average. In Ontario, fresh potato storage is 3.3 per cent above the three-year average. The UPGC update states that these provinces both had shorter crops at the end of the marketing season last year.

Hover your mouse over each province to see the storage holdings for fresh potatoes as of May 1, 2020 for each province: