It appears that many Australians don’t know their King Edwards from their Kennebecs, with the latest wave of the Potato Tracker consumer research project indicating that some people can’t name a single variety of potato, despite being the most commonly purchased vegetable commodity.

When quizzed on which potato varieties they typically purchase, 32 per cent were unable to recall any variety of potato at all when unprompted, while 15 per cent of respondents indicated that they don’t know which potatoes they are buying when presented with different varieties.

“There is a vast section of Australians who seem to be unaware of the wide range of potato varieties that are available on the market,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Alexander Miller.

“Given the unique cooking traits of different varieties of potatoes, it is important for consumers to have the information they need to buy the right kind of potato to satisfy their needs – and consumers can discover that there is a potato for every occasion.”

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing more than 2,000 Australian potato growers.

Results from Wave 8 of the Potato Tracker Project show that versatility is one of the largest triggers for purchase of potatoes, with consumers preparing them in multiple ways, including mashing (75 per cent of respondents), roasting (64 per cent) and baking (53 per cent).

“Not all potatoes are the same – different varieties of potato can be prepared in many different ways that best suit the taste and unique attributes of that particular variety,” said Mr Miller.

“There are potato varieties that are better suited to different cooking techniques, from mashing to roasting, frying and baking, and this presents an opportunity for Australia’s growers and retailers to better highlight the vast number of varieties being produced, as well as the different uses for each potato.”

“Given that versatility is a key driver for potato purchase, educating consumers on the availability of different potato varieties and their unique cooking characteristics can be a way for the industry to increase sales and build its already strong consumer base.”

“This is a great opportunity for potato growers and retailers to engage consumers and educate them on the wide array of possibilities that potatoes offer to increase sales and give consumers the many well-documented health benefits that come with eating spuds.”

Consumer research agency, Colmar Brunton, is conducting Potato Tracker for the fresh potato industry, examining and analysing consumer attitudes and market trends in relation to potatoes.

This project has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Fresh Potato Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Alexander Miller, AUSVEG Special Projects Coordinator
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0418 480 432, Email: