The value of the 2017 Idaho potato crop hit a record $1.2 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a sharp increase of 22.7% from the previous year’s crop.
Harvested acreage in the state was down 5% and yields were down 1.2%, according to the USDA.
The Idaho Potato Commission said half those potatoes — whether fresh, frozen or dehydrated — end up on restaurant menus and at other foodservice operations. That accounts for 13 billion pounds, according to a news release from the Idaho Potato Commission.
“Consumers are demanding a broader variety of creative and ethnic foods that would often be too challenging, costly and time consuming to prepare at home,” Don Odiorne, the commission’s vice president of foodservice/website, said in the release.” A variety of Idaho potatoes products and recipe options help operators meet that demand.”