A French Fry Shortage May Be Coming to the U.S. After Poor Potato Growing Season
Say it ain't so.
Soon you might not be able to get a side of fries with that.
Potato crops struggled to grow this season due to excessive cold and wet weather across the U.S. and Canada, resulting in a potential french fry shortage in the near future.
The 2019 U.S. potato crop is estimated to be down by about 3 billion pounds compared to last year — that’s a 6.1% decrease, the lowest since 2010 and one of the lowest on record, says a report from the United Potato Growers of Canada.
Idaho, the top potato producer in the US, had an estimated production fall of 5.5%, while other states had even more monumental drops. North Dakota experienced an 11.8% drop in spud harvests while Oregon had a 16% drop.
“French fry demand has just been outstanding lately, and so supplies can’t meet demand,” Travis Blacker, an industry-relations director with the Idaho Potato Commission told Bloomberg.
Luckily, there are three states that managed to have significant spud increases: Wisconsin and Michigan by 6.8% and Maine by 9.6%.
The potatoes that did manage to survive the bad weather were significantly smaller, which is problematic for french fries specifically because chefs tend to go with longer spuds to create the popular crispy matchsticks.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of sweet potatoes this year, so looks like sweet potato fries may be the move for 2020.