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FRENCH FRY DEMAND REMAINS STRONG, BUT… 

Inflation, shortages in starches and edible oils, and a lack of enough trained production workers will keep prices firm for some time to come, according to Tom Werner, president and CEO of Lamb Weston. “We continue to drive pricing actions across our portfolio to counter input cost inflation,” he says. Retail sales in Q2 (ended Nov. 27, 2022) jumped by 34% behind a 43% increase in price/mix, reflecting pricing actions. Volume fell by 9%, mostly because of production constraints and losses of some lower-margin private label products. Harvest yields of potatoes are below historical averages, and beginning in the next quarter, raw potato costs will rise to reflect a roughly 20% increase in the contracted price of the recently harvested potato crop, Werner adds. 

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