Editor's note: Scroll down for an infographic with demographic details on potato purchasing.
Ever a consumer favorite, potatoes topped the list as the most popular vegetable in the Fresh Trends 2018 survey. The potato was also the No. 3 item overall.
But, the likelihood of a potato purchase fell eight percentage points from last year — the largest decline of any item in the survey.
This starchy veggie may be the king of side dishes. More than three-quarters of all potato buyers admitted to using potatoes in that way, while another 64% said they used the tubers as an ingredient in a recipe (think potato casseroles and gratins). Nearly four in 10 (39%) made spuds the star of their meal as the main dish.
Red potatoes inched up in the rankings a few points, with 19% of shoppers saying they preferred reds (16% said so last year). But russets are the variety of choice — at 35% of shoppers said they preferred this type over the past two years. Basic white potatoes were next in popularity, followed by the buttery yukon variety.
Ethnic background plays a role in potato purchases, with 71% of Caucasian consumers saying they bought the tubers in the past year. Asian consumers were the least likely to buy potatoes, followed by those age 18-39. The age difference is real with potatoes.
The likelihood of a purchase increased according to age, and this was the sixth straight year that consumers age 59 and older were the most likely to buy spuds overall.
Southern shoppers were more likely to buy potatoes this year than those in other regions — Midwestern shoppers claimed the top regional spot for the past three years.
Most consumers buy conventionally grown potatoes, but 26% said they purchased organic product at least some of the time. Nine percent of buyers said they always bought organic spuds.