Potato Consumer Research Initiative

The Potato Consumer Research Initiative (PCRI), established in 2006 at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (now the Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie University), is a multidisciplinary group of researchers with extensive experience in the fields of marketing management, potato genetics, consumer behaviour, and research methodology. We are pioneering potato consumer research in Canada to provide meaningful, high-quality information with real-world applications for the benefit of Canadian agri-business, consumers, and government.

The vision of PCRI is to become the leader in potato consumer research in Canada. Our research will be used to strengthen the position of potatoes in the market and provide industry partners with quality information that they can use to satisfy their needs and the needs of their customers.

We believe that high-quality research leads to high-quality information and better decision making. Our team applies these principles through scientifically rigorous methods on all aspects of potato consumer research.

Potato Consumer Research Initiative objectives

To meet our goal of becoming a leader in potato consumer research, the following objectives have been established:

  • to identify the factors influencing declining potato consumption in North America;
  • to gain a better understanding of consumer perceptions and preferences for purchasing and cooking potatoes;
  • to provide information on opportunities for effective partnerships between growers, packers, processors, retailers and the food service industry;
  • to work with industry partners to identify strategies that will increase the likelihood of consumers purchasing potatoes.

Potato varieties

Russet Burbank

  • medium to heavy yielding
  • late maturing variety (approximately 110 to 130 days)
  • long cylindrical tubers with white flesh, heavy-netted russet skin
  • very good storage
  • good all purpose potato

Norland Dark Red

  • early maturing variety (approximately 70 to 90 days)
  • medium oblong tubers having smooth, red skin with shallow eyes and white flesh
  • high yielding variety
  • very good for boiling and frying, good for chipping and fair for baking


  • high-yielding, mid-maturing variety (approximately 90 to 110 days)
    long tubers, white skin, white moist flesh medium deep eyes
  • excellent tasting potato
  • excellent for boiling, baking or french fries

Yukon Gold

  • mid-maturing variety (approximately 90 to 110 days)
  • tubers are oval, slightly flattened with yellow skin and light yellow flesh
  • tubers can grow quite large and store well
  • good for boiling baking and frying


  • large, long, oval tubers that have a light yellow skin color with shallow eyes
  • similar to Yukon Gold, but much darker yellow flesh
  • high-yielding variety that matures in 90 to 110 days, but for smaller tubers harvest at 90 days
  • excellent baker
  • good boiled or fried

All Red

  • medium to late maturity (approximately 90 to 130 days)
  • good yielding potato with red skin and a distinctive round, red-flesh tuber that maintain its color after cooking
  • excellent flavour and a moist texture
  • excellent for boiling and a very good baker


  • high-yielding, late maturing variety (approximately 110 to 130 days)
  • small banana-shaped tubers, covered with light yellow skin containing pale yellow flesh
  • the waxy texture holds the tuber together, making it a fabulous potato for salads
  • also very good for boiling, baking and frying


  • High-yielding, late maturing variety (approximately 110 to 130 days)
  • pale yellow skin on a long oval tuber with a light yellow flesh
  • the thick skin of Bintji makes this a good storage potato
  • excellent all purpose potato with fairly dry texture

Cherry Red

  • mid-maturing variety (approximately 90 to 110 days)
    medium- to high-yielding variety
  • oval tubers with smooth red skin and white flesh
  • attractive potato with good storability
  • excellent for baking or boiling

French Fingerling

  • high-yielding, late maturing (approximately 110 to 130 days)
  • tubers are oblong with a red skin and light yellow flesh; also some red streaking in the flesh
  • has the waxy texture characteristic of most fingerling varieties
  • excellent for salads, and very good for boiling and baking


  • high yielding, mid- to late-maturing variety (approximately 90 to 130 days)
  • oval tubers with smooth yellow skin, light yellow flesh, shallow eyes
  • good storing potato that is an excellent all-purpose potato
  • very good for boiling, baking and french fries

Lady Rosetta

  • mid-maturing variety (approximately 90 to 110 days)
  • really high yields
  • round, red-skin tubers that have shallow eyes, cream-coloured flesh, and uniform shape
  • good for boiling or baking, and very good for chipping

Purple Viking

  • round with purple skin and white-fleshed tubers that have shallow eyes
  • mid- to late-maturing variety (approximately 90 to 130 days); however, it is recommended to harvest early as tubers can become quite large
  • very popular purple cousin to the Viking
  • moist flesh potato is best when it is baked or boiled

Russian Blue

  • high-yielding, late-maturing variety (approximately 110 to 130 days)
  • dark blue skin and flesh, round to oblong tubers
  • Russian Blue produces large plants and should be spaced at 12 inches or more in an effort to get it to maturity by fall.
  • flavour is remarkably normal for such a visually distinctive variety
  • very good for boiling and baking

Contact us

Gefu Wang-Pruski, Professor

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Phone: (902) 893-6247
Fax: (902) 897-9762