Europe’s appetite for US sweet potatoes is continuing to grow, according to statistics released by the American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute (ASPMI).
The European market imported record volumes again during 2016, and new research shows a sharp increase in awareness and purchases of US-grown sweet potatoes as a result of promotional efforts spearheaded by the ASPMI.
Thanks to an extensive media campaign on the superior taste and nutrition of American sweet potatoes, sided with product demonstrations and retailer support, European consumers are showing overwhelming interest in the product.
Surveys of European consumers show awareness of US sweet potatoes increased from 14 per cent in 2014 to 42 per cent in 2016, and those that specifically purchase US sweet potatoes grew from 10 per cent to 52 per cent in the same period.
The survey of over 1,000 respondents measured changes in awareness and purchasing patterns from a benchmark established two years ago.
Meanwhile, US sweet potato exports to Europe jumped 35 per cent in 2016 to reach an all-time record US$124m, while global exports also reached a record of over US$170m.