In the past year potatoes were eaten on 10 billion occasions , down 2% compared with the previous year. 60% of fresh potatoes are eaten at the evening meal 45% of potato consumption is accounted for by adults aged 45 and over 50% of potatoes are eaten for 'practicality' Spending on potatoes rose 16% this year to £970m Spud consumption dented by rising prices Fresh potato consumption is down, but sales have rocketed as premiumisation and the poor harvest push prices up. Value sales stood just shy of £1bn (52 w/e 31 August) after strong 16% growth. Men are still more likely to eat potatoes than other foods, accounting for 39% of consumption. But they are contributing to the decline in consumption by eating 2% less than last year. Consumption among children has also declined - by 3%. Boiling is still the most popular preparation m ethod for potatoes, with more than a third cooked in this way. Baking is the next most popular cooking method, accounting for a quarter of all occasions. However, consumers are changing the way they prepare potatoes with more traditional methods declining quickly while stir frying has grown by 20% . Potatoes are less likely to be eaten for health than other foods . Practicality is the main reason driving potato consumption, as they go well with a lot of different foods and can be easy to prepare. Gary Shaw