Since 1971, North Carolina has ranked as the No. 1 sweet potato producing state in the U.S. Its hot, moist climate and rich, fertile soil are ideal for cultivating sweet potatoes, averaging at nearly 50% of the U.S. supply. According to the USDA, North Carolina harvested nearly 50,000 acres of sweet potatoes in 2010, the same amount produced by California, Louisiana and Mississippi combined – also top producing states. The following are the top sweet potato producing North Carolina counties, with Sampson, Nash and Johnston accounting for about half of the state’s supply.
Like production, the consumption of sweet potatoes in the U.S. is rising rapidly, thanks in part to the sweet potato fry, which has become a mainstream trend in the foodservice arena. In 2010, the U.S. purchased nearly 12 million pounds of sweet potatoes with nearly 5 million pounds of that being fresh, compared to a total of 7 million pounds in 2008. The following chart shows the steady rise of sweet potato consumption since 1998. By educating consumers about the multiple benefits of this powerful super food, we hope to continue producing high volumes of sweet potatoes to meet the rising U.S. demand!
For more detailed industry information, contact Sue Johnson-Langdon at email@example.com