Consumers are prepared to increase their current spend on organic and loose, washed potato varieties, which offer greater perceived value than other formats, according to the latest Potato Tracker report.
Commenting on the findings, AUSVEG spokesperson Alexander Miller says it is promising that the value of the industry could be increased by matching potato prices with their market value.
“While we know that consumers are willing to pay more for products that are of a higher value, it’s encouraging that the industry now knows exactly which potato products the consumer thinks are worth more,” he said.
Further analysis of the report indicates that buyers aged between 25 and 34 are more willing than other age demographics to increase spending on such products.
“Previous waves of research have shown that future purchase intent is very strong among younger consumers,” Mr Miller said. “To see that the next generation of potato buyers is willing to spend more is encouraging for the industry.”
Other formats were also found to be highly relevant, such as brushed potatoes, which were also perceived to be of good value.
The potato was found to be the most commonly purchased vegetable commodity during the research period, due to its ease of use, great taste and versatility.
Mr Miller said the huge variety of cooking methods was a significant trigger for potato purchases. “While mashing, roasting and boiling are the most popular methods of preparation, potatoes are also regularly served alongside carrots, pumpkin and broccoli as a tasty accompaniment,” he said.
The Potato Tracker project is being conducted in consultation with industry by consumer-research organisation Colmar Brunton and is designed to measure consumer behaviour and perceptions in relation to potatoes. The project has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Fresh Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.