Australians adding new vegetables to diet, study
Almost two thirds of Australian shoppers have added new vegetables to their cooking repertoire in the last five years, according to new research from AusVeg, horticulture body representing Australian vegetable and potato growers.
The study, which asked over 1,400 consumers about their vegetable intake, was funded by the horticulture representative body Horticulture Australia Limited using the National Vegetable Levy and by the Australian Government.
“Over 60 per cent of consumers have added new vegetables to their weekly meals, with sweet potato, broccoli and bok choy the rising stars of the vegetable world,” said Andrew White, Manager of Industry Development and Communications at AusVeg.
“The study showed that broccoli in particular is becoming increasingly attractive in Australia, with around 70 per cent of consumers purchasing broccoli in the last month and eating every three days on average,” said Mr White.
AusVeg said that the research found 8 per cent of respondents had added broccoli to their cooking mix in the past five years, which could also reflect a shift towards new cuisines, particularly Asian-style cuisines.
“The research shows that Chinese cuisines are now almost as popular as Australian-style meals, with bok choy ranking as one of the top vegetables rising in popularity,” Mr White said.
AusVeg said 6 per cent of consumers surveyed had added bok choy to their cooking repertoire in the last five years.
Health and nutrition big motivators
Health and nutrition, easier preparation methods, and greater cooking knowledge, especially with regards to increasingly popular Asian-style cuisines, were some of the reasons given for the changes in vegetable purchasing behaviour, according to AusVeg.
“In the study, consumers stated that health and nutrition were one of the main reasons for purchasing broccoli and this appears to be one of the drivers behind its rising popularity over the past half-decade,” said Mr White.
Over two-thirds of those surveyed said they bought broccoli because it is healthy, and also noted that it was also easy to prepare and cook.