French Fry Shortage Looms Due to Poor Potato Harvest

Potato producers are projecting the weakest harvest in nearly a decade

Is There a French Fry Shortage on the Way?
French fries. (Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash)
By Evan Bleier / December 3, 2019 12:05 pm

Winter isn’t even here yet but, thanks to a rash of cold temperatures, a shortage of french fries could be coming, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

Due to cold and wet weather hitting key potato-producing regions beginning in October, growers in the U.S. and Canada are projecting that this year’s harvest will be the weakest in nearly a decade.

U.S. growers in Idaho, Minnesota and North Dakota were all affected and lost crops as did Canadian farmers in Manitoba and Alberta.

The shortage comes at an especially bad time as an increase in fry-processing capacity in Canada has boosted demand for spuds. Combined with the decrease in production, that increase in demand will lead to tighter supplies and it’s likely the price of potatoes could be on the rise across North America.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture report that was released in early November, the government agency believes domestic potato output will drop 6.1 percent this year to the lowest level since 2010.

“French fry demand has just been outstanding lately, and so supplies can’t meet the demand,” Travis Blacker, industry-relations director with the Idaho Potato Commission, told Bloomberg.

There is some good news for fast food lovers: at least Popeyes was able to restock its supply of chicken sandwiches. So it’s not all bad.

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