Produce Processing

July/August 2020

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4 J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 2 0 4 A division of Great American Publishing ISSN 2375-3447 Editorial and advertising offices at Great American Media Services, a division of Great American Publishing, P.O. Box 128, Sparta, MI 49345 Phone: 616-887-9008 Fax: 616-887-2666 Printed six times a year in the U.S.A. Copyright 2020 Produce Processing is $25 per year and $55 for three years if residing in the U.S.; $56 (U.S.) per year Canada; and $100 (U.S.) per year other foreign countries. Digital subscription: $9.95 per year. Single copy and back issues: $6. The opinions and views expressed by authors, contributors and advertisers in Produce Processing do not necessarily reflect those of the editors and publisher. Appearance in Produce Processing does not constitute endorsement by Great American Media Services or Produce Processing of the advertiser, its products, or services. Great American Media Services and Produce Processing accepts no responsibility of liability for the validity or accuracy of information supplied by contributors, vendors, advertisers, or advertising agencies. Great American Media Services and Produce Processing do not make any claims or guarantees as to the accuracy or validity of information supplied by contributors, vendors, advertisers or advertising agencies. For subscription information, visit our website at Permission is granted for reprinting material, except for commercial or advertising purposes, providing Produce Processing is given full credit. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes and corrections to Great American Publishing, PO Box 318, Lincolnshire IL 60069 THE PROCESS Z E K E J E N N I N G S More than halfway through 2020 — which will go down as the year of COVID-19 in history — the pandemic's progression is at different points depending on where you might be in the world. In the U.S., foodservice demand has inched back since lockdowns went into place in early March, although is still nowhere near normal levels. Christine Wentworth, the VP of agricultural procurement at McCain Foods — the largest frozen fry maker in the world — told me the company anticipates below-normal demand until some sort of vaccine is in place and entertainment and sporting venues reopen and restaurants get back to full capacity. The most optimistic estimation of that is likely early in 2021. On the flip side, retail food sales saw an initial boom when COVID hit and have remained elevated ever since. That is true for fresh, frozen and shelf-stable produce. According to IRI, year-to-date retail produce sales in the U.S. are up: • 28.0% for frozen • 27.2% for shelf stable • 10.6% for fresh Numbers have gradually slowed since the early-March peak, but still are well above normal. The week ending July 5, numbers were up 24.4% for frozen, 18.1% for shelf stable and 9.1% for fresh. What folks are buying also has shifted the past four months. In 2019, 84% of total produce sales came from the fresh segment, 10% from shelf stable and 6% from frozen. When COVID shutdowns hit, which can be traced to the week ending March 15, that ratio was 70% fresh; 19% shelf stable; 11% frozen. All these numbers are reflected in our look at COVID's impact on the potato chip industry on Page 10. Chips are the largest segment of potato sales in retail and have remained so during the pandemic. During the two-month period from mid-March to mid-May, retail chip sales in the U.S. totaled $1.247 billion, a 23% increase from the same time frame last year. What's all this mean? We're not as far away from normal as we were three months ago, but we're still nowhere close to it. Nowhere near normal yet Zeke Jennings Managing Editor Office 616-887-9008 Managing Editor Zeke Jennings, 616-520-2159 Advertising Andrea Schafer, 616-520-2139 Editorial Director Tim Hodson, 616-520-2161 Creative Director Kristina Howell, 616-520-2168 Multimedia Designer Greg Ryan, 616-520-2145 Production Assistant Samantha Orsi, 616-520-2148 Group Marketing Melissa Gray, 616-520-2153 Director Custom Content Jess Schmidt, 616-520-2141 Manager Circulation Becky Stovall, 616-520-2138 Billing Accounts Receivable, 616-520-2136 Contributing Editors Gary Pullano, 616-520-2144 Stephen Kloosterman, 616-520-2152 COO & Director of Kimberly Baker, 616-520-2135 Custom Media CFO & Director of Deb Carnes, 616-520-2169 Human Resources Vice President/ Gerry Bodgdon, 616-520-2150 Group Publisher CEO Matt McCallum, 616-520-2133 Editorial Advisory Board Adrienne Seiling, American Frozen Food Institute Rudi Groppe, Heinzen Manufacturing International Lou Cooperhouse, Rutgers Food Innovation Center Sherrie Rosenblatt, Can Manufacturers Institute Leonard Batti, Taylor Farms, Salinas, California email Zeke:

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