After a two decade decline in volume sales and increasing rivalry from its sweet imported counterpart, it appears things are turning round. Not only have volume sales of standard fresh potatoes increased by 0.5% over the past year and 3% over the last four years; volume sales of sweet potatoes fell for the first time last year.
Kantar Worldpanel’s 2018 figures reveal that after a period of favourability, volume sales of fresh sweet potatoes fell by 5% last year to £74 million, making up just 5% of volume in the potato market.
Sweet potatoes sales skyrocketed when they first appeared on our shelves several years ago, with volume increasing by 40% year on year at its peak in 2015.
Research carried out by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) indicates the shift in sales is due to consumer needs and attitudes. The survey results revealed, despite more consumers considering sweet potatoes a healthy option 62% vs 42% for standard potatoes, standard potatoes win on versatility, ease of preparation and keeping consumers fuller for longer.