Its survey of 300 consumers found that 85% said they would choose a sweet potato side over a regular potato dish. But 66% felt there were not enough sweet potato options on menus.
The research also revealed that 57% of consumers expected to see sweet potato options on pub menus.
Aviko said the popularity of sweet potato was due to a variety of reasons including a third of consumers believing sweet potato was healthier, 30% preferring the taste and 23% opting for something different when dining out-of-home.
Three-quarters (60%) of consumers said they would expect to eat sweet potato with burgers and wraps. However, 41% would eat sweet potato with salad and 31% would like to see it used in stews.
“The growing appeal of sweet potato demonstrates it is an opportune time for chefs to introduce a variety of sweet potato options on menus,” said Mohammed Essa, general manager UK and Ireland, Aviko.
“Whether for health reasons, taste preference or wishing to be adventurous when eating out, it is clear consumers enjoy sweet potato and the more choice that can be provided the better.”
Aviko said it was important for operators to note that 45% of people said they were willing to pay up to 50p more for sweet potato over regular potato dishes.
Essa added: “Our insight shows that two-thirds of consumers want to see more sweet potato choices on menus and that they are willing to pay a premium for them. This makes sweet potato a simple option for operators who are looking to drive margins and excite customers at the same time.”