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Abstract

Growth in the number of homes with microwave ovens has changed food preferences and preparation methods. The objective of this study was to determine the impact that microwave oven ownership has had on the demand for fresh and frozen potatoes. Using data from the 1970-88 period, demand equations were estimated for fresh potatoes, frozen potatoes in the retail market and frozen potatoes in the food service market. Results indicate that increases in the percentage of homes that own microwave ovens have shifted demand outward for fresh potatoes but inward for frozen potatoes. If potato processors can develop a microwave frozen French fry that satisfies consumers, microwave ovens could boost the demand for frozen potatoes along with the increase in demand for fresh potatoes.

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