Did you know that French fries—yes, French fries!—could play a huge part in determining how strong the U.S. economy is? A recent report shows that stellar French fry sales in 2023 might be a great sign for Americans.
Americans Love French Fries
French fries have become a staple of the American diet. Every year, people in the U.S. eat about 4.5 billion pounds of French fries. That works out to be approximately 30 pounds of French fries per person.
Health Experts Hate This
French fries are obviously not the healthiest food in the world. They’re high in fat, carbohydrates, and salt and could contribute to people gaining weight.
Financial Gurus Love It
One thing that people don’t always realize about French fries, though, is that they can reveal a lot about the state of the U.S. economy. When French fry sales are strong, it usually bodes well for the economy as a whole.
The Fry Attachment Rate
Those within the financial world will often keep an eye on what’s called the fry attachment rate. It’s a number that shows how many people are ordering French fries as a side at fast-food restaurants.
One of Life’s Little Luxuries
When the fry attachment rate is on the higher side, it means many Americans are continuing to order French fries when they go out to eat. And since these fries aren’t seen as a necessity, it suggests people feel as though they can part ways with their hard-earned money to enjoy them. It’s a great sign for the economy.
The Thinking Behind This
The thought is that, if Americans are able to buy things like French fries, they aren’t as strapped for cash as they could be.
What French Fries Say About Today’s U.S. Economy
Tom Werner, the CEO of the frozen potato supplier Lamb Weston Holdings, held an earnings call recently and spoke about the current fry attachment rate. He was happy to report that it’s even higher than it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Soaring French Fry Sales
“The global frozen potato category continues to be solid with overall demand and supply balanced,” Werner said.
A Higher-Than-Usual Fry Attachment Rate
Werner added: “Fry attachment rate, which is the rate at which consumers order fries when visiting a restaurant or other food service outlets across our key markets, [has] remained largely steady and above pre-pandemic levels.”
Rebounding From a Sales Slump
Werner also touched on how there was some concern about French fry sales as recently as just a few months ago. Sales were trending in the wrong direction and leaving many within the industry worried about the future. But things have started to turn around since then.
The Resiliency of French Fries
Werner spoke about the resiliency of the global frozen potato market during his sales call. “Frozen potato demand has proven resilient during the most challenging economic times,” he said.
Hope for the Future
Werner sounded optimistic about the future, too, when it comes to both his industry and the U.S. economy. “We continue to be confident in the long-term growth prospect for the global category,” he said.
Is the U.S. Economy in the Clear?
It’s worth pointing out that there are, of course, tons of different factors that can impact the U.S. economy. Solid French fry sales won’t guarantee a strong economy.
A Possible Sign of Things to Come
There does, however, appear to be a real connection between the fry attachment rate and the U.S. economy. It makes sense that high French fry sales would be good news for the country.
“Would You Like Fries With That?”
Keep all of this in mind the next time a fast-food employee asks you if you’d like a side of fries. Your decision could have a bigger impact on the economy than you might realize.
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Chris Yuscavage is a distinguished writer with a deep understanding and expertise in global news and politics. He has built a reputation for insightful analysis and comprehensive coverage of international events, showcasing an ability to dissect complex political scenarios with clarity and precision.