Innovation and Developments in Global Frozen Processed Potatoes

January 2020

This report is a global analysis of frozen processed potatoes, highlighting key development areas within shapes, ingredients and technologies. It examines how producers are aiming to address consumer demand in fried foods and creating modern takes on a classic side order and sets these developments in the context of retail and foodservice market development and changing consumer preferences.

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Key Findings

Growth in limited service foodservice set to drive demand

As a foodservice dominated category, frozen processed potatoes are mainly affected by the growth of limited-service foodservice. North America and Asia Pacific, in particular, are set to contribute to global growth during the forecast period, while rapid growth from a lower base is expected to be seen in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa.

Consumers will not accept reduced fat fries that compromise on taste and texture

Burger King chose to withdraw its reduced fat Satisfries during the review period, following a one year trial. Customers appeared unwilling to compromise on texture and taste to get a reduced fat French fry. Blind trials indicated that lower fat content reduces general acceptability, though there are some techniques on the market that can reduce oil uptake during frying, but still maintain a similar taste and texture to conventional deep fried processed potatoes.

The global trend for banning trans fats has the potential to improve health perceptions of fried food

In 2015, the US FDA removed the classification of hydrogenated oils as “generally regarded as safe” (GRAS) as they contain trans fats. The World Health Organization is now aiming to achieve a worldwide ban on artificially made trans fats in food by 2023, and seems likely to achieve this. A general ban on hydrogenated oils for frying would eliminate a major consumer concern when it comes to fried food. If products are marketed suitably by the major chains, any upcoming bans have the potential to improve the health profile of frozen processed potatoes and fried food in general.

Alternatives to fried potatoes offer food discovery and diet variation

Using fried carrots, cassava, courgettes (zucchini), broccoli or any other potato alternative for a fried side dish is a matter of providing a varied diet and offering a new experience, rather than a way to provide healthy food. Consumers know that fried vegetables are less healthy than fresh or boiled, but consume fried food for the unique experience. Using alternatives to potatoes adds to that experience.

The Global Picture

Key findings
Frozen processed potatoes: mostly a foodservice category
Middle East and Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific are growth regions
Foodservice pushes Asia Pacific to lead growth forecasts
Many Baby Boomers prefer food with limited or no added salt
Young generations less interested in healthier frozen processed potatoes

Innovation in Frozen Processed Potatoes

The dipper is currently the best trending shape
The (im)possible dream? healthy and tasty fries
Coated fries absorb less fat and remain moist and crisp after serving
Air-frying cuts fat but adds expense
Growth in home delivery creates innovation need in processed potatoes
New ingredients help add colour and healthier positioning

Looking Forward: Key Developments

Chained limited-service restaurants outperform in developing regions
Poutine possibilities beyond Canada
Sustainability: current absence creates opportunity
Global trend for banning trans fats set to benefit fried foods
Future key developments


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