Potatoes: a lasting affair for the UK consumer

Posted: 9 April 2018 | | No comments yet

Even in the face of competition from pasta and rice, the UK’s affection for the humble spud shows little signs of abating. Phil Britton assesses the current picture in terms of market share, product diversification and breeding developments.


It is no secret that the British love potatoes, and Kantar World Panel figures (published in the AHDB 2017/18 Market Intelligence report for GB potatoes) suggest that potatoes account for a whopping 46 percent of UK consumers savoury carbohydrate consumption. Bread is a poor runner up, accounting for just over a quarter of consumption, while savoury snacks, rice, noodles, and pasta make up the remainder of the carbohydrates consumed (Figure 1).

The dominance of potatoes in the carbohydrate market is probably due to the huge range of meals that can be derived from the humble spud, as can be seen from the number of sub-sectors into which the potato market is divided (Figure 2). The market growth and consumption of pasta, rice and noodles


Figure 1: Breakdown of the share of the carbohydrate sector market by value of sales

continues to grow slowly at the expense of fresh potatoes, but it could be argued that we might have reached ‘peak pasta’ in the UK and that potatoes are fighting back by launching new, more interesting and more convenient products to satisfy the needs of the time-poor consumer looking for quick, tasty and nutritious meal solutions.

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