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Other vegetables may have the pip after the tomato, traditionally considered a fruit, topped the list as New Zealand's most popular vegetable.

New Zealanders voted with their wallets after spending $99.2 million on tomatoes last year.

Potatoes followed close behind with $98.9m in sales and mushrooms took third place with $52.6m, Statistics New Zealand's Household Economic Survey for 2010 reveals.

Bananas were the most popular fruit with New Zealanders forking out $142m on the tropical fruit, followed by apples at $98.4m and oranges at $41.7m.

Celery and mangoes lagged behind as the most unpopular vegetable and fruit in the top 20.

It was disappointing the banana, an imported fruit, had claimed such a significant portion of the fresh fruit market, Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Peter Silcock said.

However, he was pleased the "mighty kiwi apple" made second place.

- NZPA