Boilover: tomatoes pushed out of top spot

New Zealanders have a new favourite.

The unassuming tuber that is the potato is taking a turn in the spotlight - pushing aside tomatoes to win the title of New Zealand's No 1 vegetable.(Yes, we all know tomatoes are a fruit but you try putting them in fruit salad.)

Statistics New Zealand's latest Household Economic Survey show we bought more than $119 million worth of potatoes in the year to June 2013 but only $118.6 worth of tomatoes.

Tomatoes have reigned supreme at the top of the favourite vegetables list for at least 10 years.

Still, there is good news for growers of both staples - spending on potatoes and tomatoes has gone up by more than $10 million since the last survey in 2010.

Bananas have maintained their position as No 1 selling fruit in New Zealand. Apples are the next most popular.

Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Peter Silcock said while it was pleasing New Zealanders are spending more on fruit and vegetables, they were also spending more on imported fruit, including through this country's main production seasons.

HortNZ has been calling for the introduction of mandatory country of origin labelling for all food sold in this country.

''Kiwis deserve the right to choose to buy local if they want to and they need better labelling to be able to do this,'' Mr Silcock said.

Other notable movers were: Spinach shot up four places from 16th in 2010 to 12th in 2013.

Kumara beat carrots to take fifth spot, up from eighth in 2010 Celery lost its place in the top 20, at 20, and was replaced by newcomer, corn.

Imported fruit, such as bananas, grapes and pineapple, went up at the expense of local produce, such as oranges, pears and watermelons, which all dropped places.

1: Potatoes
2: Tomatoes
3: Lettuce
4: Mushrooms
5: Kumara
6: Carrots
7: Capsicums
8: Onions
9: Broccoli
10: Cucumbers
11: Pumpkins
12: Spinach
13: Fresh vege combos
14: Cabbage
15" Cauliflower
16: Beans
17: Courgettes
18: Fresh herbs
19: Asparagus
20: Sweet corn




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