The long down-sloping trend in potato consumption has finally ended.
The numbers aren't staggering, according to the National Potato Promotion Board, quoting the May National Eating Trends report, but does show a modest increase in total consumption.
In-home potato consumption increased modestly (111 meals per year from 110 in 1998). Restaurant potato consumption remained the same at 45 meals per year.
Some 37 percent of restaurant customers include fries as part of their regular diet. The average restaurant consumer eats fries three times during an average two-week period.
Chip consumption remained steady but baked potatoes are on the rebound, with gains in each of the last two years with total consumption up 7 percent vs. 1997 figures.