Potatoes, seafood and almonds are three commodities that are key players on restaurant menus. Drought, high feed prices and other factors have wreaked havoc on several staple foods in the supply chain this year. How are these three commodities trending as we move into 2013 and how can they enhance the menu?
- Idaho has been the leading volume producer of potatoes in the United States since 1957. In 2012, the state is expected to harvest 344,000 acres of Russets (91%), white potatoes (4%), red potatoes (3%) and yellow potatoes (2%). That adds up to about 12 billion pounds of Idaho® Potatoes.
- About 40% of the crop is sold as fresh potatoes, while the majority of potatoes are sold as frozen, dehydrated and value-added refrigerated product. Because of an abundant crop of good quality, it is anticipated that pricing should be very economical for this season; potatoes are one of the best values per pound when it comes to produce purchasing.
- For more information on potato varieties and availability, click here.
- American seafood consumption has increased along with a growing recognition of seafood’s health benefits. Wild Alaska salmon is a high-quality source of protein and vitamins—including D, B6, B12 and selenium—as well as an excellent source for the omega-3 fatty acids that support brain and heart health. Alaska’s salmon fisheries are certified according to the world-standard FAO-Based Responsible Fisheries Management program, ensuring that the state’s prized fish will be available for generations to come.
- Alaska is home to more than 90% of the wild salmon in North America with five different species that provide an abundance of choices in both price and flavor:
- King (Chinook)—Alaska’s largest salmon species, King salmon are prized for the high oil content that make this firm fish exceptionally flavorful
- Sockeye (Red)—Alaska’s second-most abundant species is known for its distinctive red meat color and full flavor
- Coho (Silver)—Alaska’s second-largest salmon species is low in saturated fat and mild in flavor
- Keta (Chum)—The firmest of Alaska’s salmon species, Keta salmon have a lower oil content and mild flavor, perfect for cooking at gentler temperatures
- Pink—The most abundant and affordable of Alaska’s salmon species is commonly seen in cans and pouches, but is also increasingly available in fillets. Find out more here.
- California Almonds are a flavorful, versatile ingredient that food industry professionals can count on year over year to remain in safe, stable supply. In fact, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, almond crop sizes have grown steadily over the past five years and are projected to reach a record 2.1 billion pounds in 2012.
- In a recent survey, consumers reported a dish with almonds to be “better tasting” and “more interesting” than one without. Almonds also rank as the favorite nut among food professionals for their versatility, taste and texture. With so many different forms to work with, it’s easy to see why.
- Almonds fit seamlessly into most major food categories, and are an ideal tool for bridging and boosting all kinds of global tastes and textures—from Pan Asian cuisine to South American fare, and from Spanish tapas to American small plates. Check out www.almondboard.com for more information.