Australians would be willing to pay more for loose washed potatoes and organic loose potatoes than they already do, according to industry-backed consumer research.
Results from the latest Potato Tracker report suggested consumers are prepared to increase their current spend on loose washed and organic varieties, which offer greater perceived value than other purchase formats.
“While we know that consumers are willing to pay more for products that are of a higher value, it is encouraging that the industry now knows exactly which potato products the consumer thinks are worth more,” said AUSVEG spokesperson, Alexander Miller.
“It is promising to see that the value of the industry could be increased by matching potato prices with that of their market value, which could potentially benefit growers if this is reflected in higher farm-gate prices.”
Making the findings more exciting is further analysis that indicates that buyers aged between 25 and 34 are more willing to increase expenditure on such products than other age demographics.
“Previous waves of research have shown that future purchase intent is very strong amongst younger consumers. To see that the next generation of potato buyers is willing to spend more is encouraging for the industry,” said Mr Miller.
Other purchasing formats were also found to be highly relevant, such as brushed potatoes that were also perceived to be of good value.
The humble potato was also found to be the most commonly purchased vegetable commodity during the research period, due to its ease of use, great taste and versatility.
“The huge variety of delicious cooking techniques is a large trigger for potato purchases,” said Mr Miller.
“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.”
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.
This story was first published in Leading Agriculture magazine.