The National Potato Council’s “Spud Nation” report found the U.S. potato sector contributed an estimated $101 billion to the nation’s economy in 2021.
It also found that the nation’s potato sector generates an estimated 714,000 jobs in the United States and annual wages of about $34 billion.
“America’s most consumed vegetable is potatoes” and spuds “are incredibly important to rural communities and the country as a whole,” said NPC President RJ Andrus, an Idaho Falls potato farmer.
Andrus said the report, released Feb. 28, is groundbreaking because it marks the first time any organization has measured and reported on the national economic impact of potatoes.
“We’re incredibly excited about the information contained in this report,” said National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles.
The report, “Measuring the Economic Significance of the U.S. Potato Industry,” looked at the direct as well as indirect contributions of the potato sector.
For example, it found that agriculture production and agribusiness services, which are direct impacts, contributed $10.8 billion to the U.S. economy.
It also found the industry was responsible for contributing $49.1 billion in processing, wholesaling and retail activity and another $41 billion through food service industries and household consumption.
The report said potatoes are the most consumed vegetable by U.S. consumers.