Q. What percentage of foodservice sales are line flow French fries versus premium extra-long or long fancy French fries? Also, what is the percentage of private label vs. branded frozen fries for foodservice?
A. Unfortunately, these are statistics that I do not know. Each processor keeps their own records and as far as I know it is not accumulated anywhere that an association or board has access to.
Unsubstantiated opinion… line flow far exceeds the volume of premium extra-long and long fancy French fries. I’d be surprised if the top of the line fries had more than 10-15% of the business. There just are not that many big potatoes under each plant when harvested to create a lot of long fries. Bear in mind, that by far the majority of fries end up in foodservice (used to be about 85% versus retail) and that the largest users of frozen fries are McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s. Even Mc Donald’s specs don’t call for all long fries, even though they know that you can use the same amount of potatoes and long fries will look like a bigger portion.
And, I can’t really help with the private label versus branded. However, the brands Simplot, McCain, and Lamb Weston dominate any fry production and the largest users of frozen fries are boxed under the labels of the operator companies… McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s.
The real issue operators need to be aware of when they try to cut costs and not use long or medium size fries is that the shorter pieces and often lower solids also mean more fry oil uptake.