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Coronavirus: Spuds off the menu in Germany after ‘catastrophic’ fall in sales

Germany has experienced a sharp fall in demand for potatoes and potato products during the coronavirus crisis.

Germany is typically a huge consumer of the humble spud and is the biggest producer of them in Europe.

Currywurst with a serving of chips is especially popular with tourists wanting a taste of fast-food German cuisine.

However, there has been a “catastrophic reduction in sales” of frozen, chilled and dry potato products since the COVID-19 outbreak, the German Association of the Fruit, Vegetable and Potato Processing Industry (BOGK) said.

The country is now using the surplus of potatoes as animal feed or for making biogas – a type of biofuel that is naturally produced from the decomposition of organic waste – instead.

BOGK chief executive Horst-Peter Karos said: “Several hundred thousand tonnes of processing potatoes could not be used.

“Valuable food must be used for animal feed, biogas production or disposed of in other ways”, he added, which has caused the industry millions of euros in losses.

Mr Karos said the potato-processing industry needed government help under its economic recovery programme.

While German restaurants have reopened, large numbers of restaurant bankruptcies are expected as demand from large events and exports is not expected to recover quickly.

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