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MORE than 3,400 tonnes of potatoes will be packed and distributed at Branston’s Lincoln factory in the week leading up to Christmas Day – an increase of 65% on the average week at the site.

As well as packs of fresh potatoes, volume for prepared products – especially ready to roast potatoes - are also set to rise, with almost 32,000 packs expected to be produced at the site’s award-winning prepared foods facility in the run up to Christmas – up 68% compared to the average week.

As demand soars for one of the nation’s favourite components to Christmas dinner, more than 16.2 million packs of potatoes will be sold by retailers nationwide during the week leading up to Christmas.

John Griffin, general manager at Branston’s Lincoln site, said: “Christmas dinner just wouldn’t be the same without the roasties and we are in the midst of our very own ‘12 days of Christmas’ countdown. From 13 December we really start to see uplift in demand for spuds, as families across the country prepare for the festive season.

“In the lead up to the festive season our potato packing jumps from around 307 tonnes a day to over 800 tonnes for the peak days in the week before Christmas and our production facilities run around the clock to meet demand.”

Research shows that large family gatherings are the norm this festive season with 60% of households intending to cook dinner for six or more people. Less than a third (28%) of households will be eating alone or with just one other person.

John continued: “Potatoes are the cornerstone of festive dinners, shown by the huge surge in sales. King Edward and Maris Piper are the best known varieties for roasties as they have a fluffy texture that crisps up really well, but all our potatoes will make a great addition to Christmas – whether that’s at the main meal or to feed the family throughout the holidays.”

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