More Europeans are aware of and are purchasing American-grown sweet potatoes, according to market research done by the American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute. ASPMI was formed three years ago with the goal of promoting American sweet potatoes abroad, and according to their latest findings, their efforts have been paying off.
According to a recent ASPMI survey conducted in Europe, the number of respondents who said they bought sweet potatoes more than once a week increased by 183 percent over the course of one year, and the number of respondents who specifically bought U.S. sweet potatoes grew by 150 percent.
Those numbers are in line with what American sweet potato growers and exporters have been seeing over the course of the last several years. Total exports have grown by a third since 2014 and doubled over the last five years. In 2015, exports reached 181,000 MT, and the value of those exports totaled $138 million. The value of exports to Europe, specifically, were $92 million.
“New research shows strong growth in awareness and purchases of U.S. sweet potatoes in Europe thanks to promotional efforts in this growing market,” noted a recent ASPMI press release. “After organizing a media tour which yielded extensive media attention on this 'superfood' and holding tastings and product demonstrations at several consumer events throughout the target region, consumers are showing overwhelming interest in U.S. sweet potatoes.”