Israelis won't just be eating Matzos this Passover, as ithe Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce reported a 15 percent increase in potato consumption this coming holiday.
In the two weeks before Pesach, some 10,000 tons of potatoes are expected to be sold and will bring in some NIS 35 million (about $8 million).
The average household will spend NIS 12-15 (about $3 -$3.5) on potatoes this Pesach while the average person will eat about 1.4 Kg (about 3 lbs).
The FICC showed that the year 2006 yielded a crop of 570,000 tons of potatoes, out of which 220,000 tons went toward local consumption, 90,000 tons went toward industry and 260,000 tons were exported.
The main countries exported to were Britain, France, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Russia.
In 2006, the potato market value was estimated at NIS1.2 billion (about $286 million), out of which NIS 800 million about ($190 million) came from local consumption and NIS 70 million ($16 million) came from industry. The remaining NIS 370 million ($88 million) came from export.
At a 14.5 percent rise from 2005, the average price of potatoes in 2006 was NIS 3.62 per kg (about $0.86 per 2.2 lbs).
Economist suspect this sharp increase stems from a rise in the stock of quality potatoes, which are more costly.
The average Israeli household spends about NIS 18.3 ($4.3) on potatoes per month, while lower income households have a higher rate of potato consumption.
The average Israeli eats about 32 kg (about 70 lbs) of fresh potatoes per year and about 13 kg (about 28 lbs) of processed industrial potato products.
These numbers are very low compared to Europe, where the average potato intake ranges from 70kg – 120kg (154 lbs – 264 lbs) per year.
Potatoes are divided into two main groups: Light potatoes, which are mainly used for cooking, soups and salads, and make up about 70 percent of the Israeli potato market, and red potatoes which are used mainly for frying and baking and make up the remaining 30 percent.