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Factors Influencing Consumer Preference of Fresh Potato Varieties in Maine

An Erratum to this article was published on 05 September 2008


Tuber color and appearance are important factors that influence consumer decision-making. In order to evaluate which factors are important to consumers in Maine, we surveyed 275 people over 2 years and four locations to assess fresh potato consumption patterns and to determine how specific potato characteristics influence variety selection. A majority of the study participants were women between the ages of 41 and 60. Over 60% of survey participants cooked and consumed fresh potatoes between one and three times per week, and over 84% of participants reported that baked, mashed, or roasted potatoes were their preferred methods of preparing fresh potatoes. Over 96% of survey participants expressed that potatoes were a healthy food, although more than a third stated that they limited their carbohydrate consumption. The most important potato characteristics found to influence fresh potato purchase were skin quality and place of origin with 30% and 41% of participants giving each of these factors the highest possible score. Participants appear to recognize the importance of the industry, and many expressed interest in buying locally grown potatoes. Skin quality was the most important characteristic influencing preference for whole white and yellow skin varieties (seven of eight varieties) evaluated in the study. Skin quality also influenced variety selection of whole red skin potatoes in five of eight varieties. This suggests that more research is needed to develop varieties and production methods that produce attractive blemish-free potatoes. When participants could see the potato flesh, it significantly influenced variety selection with all potatoes. Flesh color was the most important characteristic of halved potatoes with 13 of 14 possible varieties. Pictures showing potato flesh color may also help retail sales of table stock varieties. The yellow fleshed varieties with white and purple skins were quite popular, but yellow flesh, red skin varieties were less popular.

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Correspondence to John M. Jemison Jr.

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Jemison Jr, J.M., Sexton, P. & Camire, M.E. Factors Influencing Consumer Preference of Fresh Potato Varieties in Maine. Am. J. Pot Res 85, 140–149 (2008).

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  • Potato Variety
  • Flesh Color
  • Potato Industry
  • Fresh Potato
  • Silver Scurf