The usage of potatoes in in-home and carried-out meal occasions has declined slightly in the past year, despite the overall number of meal occasions remaining unchanged. 5.6 billion portions of fresh potatoes and 2.8 billion portions of frozen potato products were eaten in the last year. 14.5% of all meal occasions included fresh or frozen potatoes. (Kantar Worldpanel, 52 week data ending 28th Feb 2016).
What potatoes are consumers eating?
- Fresh main crop potatoes account for 41% of meal occasions where fresh or frozen potatoes were consumed, while chips accounted for 22%. 15% of occasions were baking potatoes, and new potatoes and other frozen potato products accounted for 12% each.
When are potatoes being eaten?
- 84% of potato meal occasions were evening meal occasions.
Who is eating potatoes?
- Potatoes are eaten across all life stage groups, but retirees are particularly key for fresh potatoes while families are important for frozen potato products.
How are consumers eating fresh potatoes?
- Mashed potatoes are the most popular method of potato preparation, followed by cooking new potatoes, roast potatoes and then baked potatoes.
What are consumers eating potatoes with?
- Fresh potato consumption is supported by consumer’s inclusion in Roast dinners and pairing with Pies/Pasties. Chicken portions remain the driver of consumption of frozen potatoes, followed by sausages and pizzas. Potatoes feature in a variety of the nation’s top 20 favourite meals, although apart from roast dinners most of these meals rank below 10th.
- Potatoes in the nation’s top 20 meals:
3. Roast Dinner
13. Chicken, fresh potatoes and veg
16. Shepherd’s pie
17. Pork Chops, fresh potatoes and veg
18. Sausages, fresh potatoes and veg
19. Pizza & prepared potatoes
Top 10 dishes such as Soup, Curry and Stew could also contain potato depending on the recipe.
Source: AHDB/Kantar Worldpanel
- Potatoes are the second most popular carbohydrates after bread. However, these two foods are also the main contributors to declines in the carbs category. All carbs are currently showing year-on-year declines, except for cous cous.
Changing consumer trends
- Consumer tastes are trending towards the quick and easy; meals cooking times are steadily declining and low-involvement, pre-prepared dishes and accompaniments are gaining popularity. There is also a shift from traditional meat-and-two-veg meals to dish-based cuisine, such as curries and pasta dishes.
AHDB Potatoes activity
- Research: understanding the consumer is key to driving consumption and AHDB Potatoes has invested in researching this area. These insights can help ensure that the right products are available to ensure that we sustain demand for the potato. See summaries of our recent research on usage & attitudes and the shopper journey.
- Promotion: AHDB Potatoes runs promotion campaigns aimed at younger consumers who eat fewer potatoes than their parents. All activity is based on understanding the consumer and how we can increase the number of potato meals they eat.
- Education: AHDB Potatoes education programmes make sure we reach the future potato consumers. For example, over two-thirds of Primary Schools take part in the Grow Your Own Potatoes project – reconnecting children with where their food comes from and how potatoes fit in a healthy balanced diet.