"No Small Potatoes"
Image is not available
Image is not available
No Small Potatoes
The Economic Contribution of the Michigan Potato Sector
Key Takeaway 1


The Michigan potato industry has a massive impact on the state economy, creating more than
$2.5 billion
in economic activity.

A new Michigan State University study reveals that Michigan potatoes deliver $1.5 billion in direct economic activity resulting from growing, processing, wholesaling, and retailing potatoes and potato products.

The potato supply chain delivers an additional $1 billion in indirect economic activity from related industries and consumption.

The Michigan potato industry supports around
jobs, generating
million in wages and $2.5 billion in gross state product.

15,600 jobs are directly supported by the Michigan potato supply chain, and 6,100 are indirectly supported.

Approximately 0.5% of the Michigan workforce is linked to the state’s potato supply chain.

Potato Chip Capital
Michigan is the
potato chip capital
of the U.S., growing more potatoes that become potato chips than any other state.

One in four bags of potato chips enjoyed in the U.S. are filled with Michigan-grown spuds.

70% of Michigan-grown potatoes are used for chipping and sold at a premium.

State Ranking
State Ranking

Potatoes are Michigan’s second largest commodity, behind only apples.

Michigan growers produced nearly 1.9 billion pounds of potatoes across all categories: seed, fresh, frozen, dehydrated, and processing. Sales of these potatoes generated more than $246 million in 2022 alone.

This puts Michigan as the 8th largest state in potato production, and 6th in terms of sales.

previous arrow
next arrow
Slide 1

The Supply Chain

It all begins on the 761 Michigan farms that produce potatoes. Once potatoes are harvested, they are sorted, sized, and graded before most are shipped off to food distributors or processors. Twenty percent of Michigan-grown potatoes end up in supermarkets or other locations that sell fresh potatoes, while about 75% go to processors – mostly potato chip makers. The other 5% is used as seed to grow the following year’s crop.

Chipping Capital of the U.S.

Chipping Capital of the U.S.

Michigan is the nation’s leading producer of chipping potatoes. Growing more potatoes that become potato chips than any other state, nearly 70% of all Michigan-grown potatoes are sent to local and national potato chip producers. This equates to 25% of all potato chips consumed in the U.S.

As of 2017, there were 761 potato-producing farms in Michigan. Of those, 107 grew for processing, but accounted for 80% landmass used. Potato processing includes inputs from manufacturing and other agricultural fields including packaging, utilities, salt, breading, spices, cooking oils, energy, and more.


The Process

Given the versatility and popularity of potatoes, they are used in all sorts of ways. They can simply be bagged and sold for at-home consumption, but they’re also used to make potato chips, canned, dehydrated, frozen, or refrigerated potato products, and as a secondary ingredient in things like store-prepared deli salads, soups, and frozen dinners. These products are sold in retail stores, but many are used in foodservice, such as restaurants, hospitals, schools, and other institutions.

previous arrow
next arrow
Fun Facts
Card 1: Jobs Powerhouse
Jobs Powerhouse
Michigan potatoes support 21,700 jobs, providing meaningful employment opportunities to communities throughout the Mitten State.
Card 2: Potato Chip Capital
Potato Chip Capital
70% of all potatoes grown in Michigan are used to produce potato chips for Americans to enjoy.
Card 3: Production Winner
Production Winner
Potatoes are the #2 crop in Michigan, and the state is the 8th largest producer of potatoes and 6th in sales in the U.S.
Card 4: Earning Their Keep
Earning Their Keep
Michigan potatoes support $832 million in wages for our residents and deliver $2.53 billion in gross state product annually.
Card 5: America's Favorite Vegetable
America’s Favorite Vegetable
Delivering jobs, economic activity, and healthy meals, potatoes are a vital vegetable for Michiganders’ health and prosperity.
previous arrow
next arrow
Image is not available
One in four bags of potato chips enjoyed in
America are filled with Michigan-grown spuds.

Prepared By

William Knudson and Steven R. Miller

October 2023