The number of potato side dish offerings at chain restaurants grew 8 percent in the last year (since Q1 2009) and 14 percent from Q1 2006 through Q1 2010.
Consistent with Q3 and Q4 2009, french fries, baked potatoes and mashed potatoes are the most popular potato items menued in Q1 2010. Most potato side dishes are menued in the Casual Dining and Family/Midscale segments. Seasoned, garlic and Cajun still dominate potato side dish flavors. White cheddar cheese was also a popular side dish flavor in Q1 2010.
The top four preparations continue to be fried, french-cut, mashed and baked. “Crispy,” “Golden” and “Homestyle” were the top marketing claims used on menus during Q1 2010 to describe potato side dishes. The “Trans-Fat-Free” claim increased from 10 menu items in Q3 to 122 menu items in Q4, and then again to 135 in Q1 2010.