High-protein, low-carb Atkins-style diets have taken their toll on the eating-out market for potato dishes, according to a new Government report.
The Family Food 2002-03 survey from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) found that the UK consumption of spuds outside the home dropped by 3.3% last year.
However, the Atkins diet failed to boost restaurant sales of Atkins-friendly products such as fish, which fell by 4.5%.
Both pizzas and salads were the big winners - growing by nearly 4%. Londoners were the biggest diners-out and ordered twice as many Indian, Chinese and ethnic meals as consumers in the East Midlands.
However, those in the North-east spent most on booze, although the total amount spent on drink suffered overall, with alcohol consumption falling by 4%, and tea and coffee by 5%.
Restaurateurs in the capital grabbed a bigger share of the total amount of money spent on food, as diners forked out 40% of their total food and drink budget on going out, compared with those in the South-west, who averaged 28.2%.