Potato Tracker project reveals taste and convenience key factors to increase Australian spud consumption
Australian consumers are buying potatoes for taste and convenience, and are keen to purchase more, according to new industry research carried out as part of a potato research study funded by potato levies with matching funds from the Australian Government.
Survey results reveal purchase triggers
The ‘Potato Tracker’ project sheds “encouraging new light” on purchase triggers and consumption habits relating to fresh potatoes, according to vegetable and potato growers’ representative body AusVeg. The project is being carried out by consumer research organisation Colmar Brunton, using online questionnaires to sample a comprehensive spectrum of consumer demographics.
AusVeg said the results showed consumers cited taste and convenience as major factors when purchasing potatoes, leaving open scope to increase consumption among certain groups.
“These results highlight the high level of importance placed on the availability of potatoes and, more importantly, emphasise the intention of some groups of consumers – particularly males and individuals aged between 25-44 years – to purchase more potatoes in the future,” said Michael Bodnarcuk, AusVeg spokesperson.
“The Potato Tracker project provides growers with market data which is packed full of possibilities and could allow them to tailor their offerings to target areas of potential market growth,” Mr Bodnarcuk said.
Consumer expectations of potatoes
AusVeg said the study so far had also found that consumers generally expect potato produce to remain fresh for 17 days, and that this expectation is typically being met. According to AusVeg, this is one of the longest shelf life expectations for a horticultural commodity.
“This report has expanded our knowledge of consumer expectations and global innovation in the potato industry, which will assist growers to better understand consumer attitudes towards potatoes, as well as their expectations,” Mr Bodnarcuk said.
“Australian growers have always been trend setters, keen to embrace new developments and take full advantage of potential areas of market growth,” Mr Bodnarcuk said. “Assets such as the Potato Tracker provide growers with highly-valuable insights, allowing them to understand where innovation is needed and gear their businesses accordingly,” he said.
The Potato Tracker project has been funded by Horticulture Australia Ltd using the National Fresh Potato Levy and matched funds from the Australian Government.