b'of dining rooms in restaurants because of the pandemic, so hopefully were able to continue our return to restaurants and enjoy foods together, but the increased expectations from consumers to get the food they want, where they want it, is not likely to change, he adds.No surprise, others have been quick to get in on the action. Wendys introduced its longer lasting fries this past fall and company president Kurt Kane says it took four years of engineering to get it right. Lamb Weston, Americas largest fry manufacturer, now has its version of the longer lasting fry, which can keep for 30 minutes.Given that fries are the primary end-use for Canadian-grown potatoes, it doesnt come as a surprise that this could be good news for many spud producers, and just in time, too. In 2021, there was a record crop of 123.1 million hundredweight, up 18.2Matt Petersen, Simplots directorKevin MacIsaac, general of potato product marketing manager of the United Potato per cent from 2020. It coincided with seeded acres being theGrowers of Canadahighest since 2007. Kevin MacIsaac, the general manager of the United Potatodriven by export to the Asia-Pacific region where fast-food Growers of Canada, says this is welcome news for every singletakeout and home delivery has been part of the culture for well potato grower in the country.over a decade. The only slowdown was supply chain issues If it wasnt for what (food delivery companies) did for us,surrounding the pandemic, but even thats becoming more our industry would have almost gone to pieces during COVIDmanageable, says MacIsaac, and trade is much freer flowing.in the french fry sector, he explains. The sit-down portion ofNumbers are expected to increase abroad, but are still going restaurants were closed; that only left drive-thru. You can onlystrong domestically, as well. According to Winnipeg-based Skip get so much business in drive-thru. the Dishes, Canadians takeout habits in 2020 (data not available Today, MacIsaac notes the french fry industry has bouncedfor 2021) confirmed people stayed home and ordered fries, lots back to pre-COVID levels and beyond. Much of thats also beingof them. In 2020, Canadian eaters placed more than five million orders which involved french fries and Ontario took home top spot with 730,000 orders, more than any other province. According to a Skip spokesperson, in 2021, the company added 32 per cent more restaurant partners than it previously had in 2020. As well, its now operating in 10 per cent more cities and towns across Canada this year. SPUDSMART.COM Winter 202223'