Why potatoes remain America’s favorite vegetable
To understand changes in consumer opinions of potatoes, Potatoes USA conducts an annual Consumer Attitudes and Usage (A&U) study. The A&U tracks consumers’ self-reported usage of potatoes, current beliefs on health-related topics and overall attitudes toward potatoes. The 2019 study revealed many valuable insights.
What drives food purchases?
- Flavor, freshness and good value are the top three attributes consumers think are important when choosing food, remaining consistent from the prior year.
- Cooking styles are described as basic, traditional and short-order. Consumers who described their cooking styles as “from scratch” and “creative” declined from the 2018 study by eight points and five points, respectively.
- Seventy-nine percent of consumers use recipes when making meals at home.
- Meal patterns continue to change with 48 percent of consumers saying they eat three meals a day, the first time this number dipped below 50 percent since the study began.
Potatoes continue to reign as America’s favorite vegetable
- For the third year in a row, potatoes have been ranked as America’s favorite vegetable, followed by broccoli, tomatoes and corn. This year’s study showed tomatoes increased in popularity.
- Seventy-eight percent of consumers reported eating potatoes once a week at home, while 72 percent reported eating potatoes at least once a month at foodservice.
- At foodservice, potato dishes were chosen as two of the top three favorite side dishes.
- Consumers give potatoes high marks for their versatility, being filling and satisfying.
- They also love potatoes for being a good value — something everyone enjoys — and that they can be prepared quickly and easily.
Potato performance benefits are being recognized
Consumers reported increases in the following potato attributes, all showing statistical improvements from the 2018 study:
- Helps fuel me for my everyday activities: up five percentage points.
- Provides sustained energy: up six points.
- Good for athletic performance: up seven points.
- Used and approved by athletes: up 10 points.
What will make consumers eat more potatoes?
Twenty-seven percent say shorter cook times and ideas for new ways of cooking potatoes would inspire them to make them more often, while 24 percent say they would like ideas for how to prepare potatoes with healthier nutritionals.
So why don’t they eat them more often? Eight percent say they already eat enough, while 25 percent continue to believe they are fattening and 20 percent say they are high in calories.
A summary of the research can be found on PotatoesUSA.com/growers or by contacting Potatoes USA directly at 303-369-7783.