Australia, Sydney, Haymarket Paddy's Markets shopping sale produce food sweet potatoes. (Photo by: Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Australia Is Facing An Unprecedented Fried Potato Shortage, Here's What We Know
By Nico Danilovich
Australians love their potatoes and in 2022, data from Hort Innovation showed that the number of Aussies consuming potatoes was on the rise, with 87% of them buying potatoes on a typical trip to the grocery store. Unfortunately, SBS News reported that Australia saw plenty of rain in 2022, which lowered the yields of its potatoes.
Katherine Myers, horticulture VP of the Victorian Farmers Federation, told SBS, “The prolonged wet weather made it too difficult to manage the crops that were in the ground, made it difficult to harvest early crops, and it meant there were really quite significant delays in getting the new crops planted.” The poor growth this season has hit crispy taters the hardest, including potato chips.
Worse yet, Australia can't simply import potatoes from its usual foreign sources, since New Zealand had similar problems and Europe faced drought, which further decreased the global potato supply. Grocery stores such as Coles placed restrictions on how many frozen potato products customers can buy and some restaurants are expecting to face months of no new spud shipments.