Fresh Potato Sales Remain Off
According to the Economic Research Service and USDA preliminary data, per capita use of fresh-market potatoes may have reached its lowest level since fresh utilization data were first made available in 1959.
The report on July 25, 2003, summarizing data from the year 2002, fresh use during the early 2000s is averaged about 5 percent below both the 1980s and 1990s averages and is 12 percent lower than the 1970s.
Along with the effects of the slow economy the past two years, the increasing number of alternatives to potatoes (i.g. rice, pasta, and sweet potatoes) and the popularity of the reduced-carbohydrate diet may be weighing heavily on fresh potato use.
The government considers potatoes the largest vegetable category.