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The Stew Leonard’s mashed potato index tracks the sale of the store’s pre-prepared mashed potatoes as an indication of market growth and overall economic well-being.
Chef-prepared mashed potatoes on offer at Stew Leonard’s sell for roughly $5 per pound, compared to raw potatoes, which go for about $1 per pound. When the higher-cost option sales increase relative to the lower-cost option, the index rises, signaling a healthier economy. In this, Americans are putting a premium on the convenience of not mashing potatoes themselves.
“Our feeling is when the economy is doing a little better, people are going to go for the $5 [option],” Leonard said.
This year’s increase in the mashed potato index coincides with the stock market reaching record highs and third-quarter GDP growth exceeding expectations.
Year over year, Americans are increasingly turning to the convenience of the Thanksgiving catering options Stew Leonard’s offers, including a full dinner for eight, costing $175.