Shoppers buying less potatoes, but are unaware of it, says Potato Council

The volume of fresh potatoes fell 8 per cent in the year to the end of May, even though the value of the category grew by nearly 4 per cent, the Potato Council has said.

Yet most consumers are unaware they are buying less, according to research carried out by Kantar WorldPanel LinkQ for the levy body.

Having polled over 1,850 consumers, the market research firm concluded that even among those whose consumption had dropped the most, 90 per cent still thought they were buying the same amount or more.

Potato Council head of marketing and corporate affairs Caroline Evans said: "An unconscious decision not to purchase presents both opportunities and challenges. It means there is no specific issue we need to address – for example health or price.

"Instead the focus is on ensuring that potatoes are front-of-mind for shoppers, particularly in store."

Although potato prices have risen more than a third in the last year, the research suggested that price is not a major concern for most shoppers, with only three in ten believing prices had increased "a lot".

Evans added that the industry must now "shake consumers out of a state of inertia" by providing "inspiration and guidance", adding: "It is more important than ever that industry works together to put out positive, consistent messages about potatoes and put a stop to the decline in consumption."

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