Australian consumers showing high interest in Asian vegetables, new trend

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 6th November 2013

Almost one third of Australian consumers have shown “significant interest” in buying more Asian vegetables, according to a new study from the Australian vegetable industry.

The study, which surveyed 741 Australian consumers, is part of ongoing research by representative body for Australian vegetable and potato growers, AusVeg. The research is funded through Horticulture Australia Limited, using the National Vegetable Levy, and matched funds from the Australian Government.

“This new data supports trends over the last eight years showing that both the value and the gross production of Asian vegetables in Australia are continuing to rise,” said Andrew White, Manager of Industry Development and Communications at AUSVEG.

“Asian vegetables used to be considered a market niche catering for Australians of Asian descent in particular, but now about 25 per cent of consumers in general are incorporating Asian vegetables into more traditional Australian cuisine styles as well,” Mr White said.

According to AusVeg, monthly trends in 2013 showed that consumption of Asian vegetables was up by around 20 per cent since July 2013, and that shoppers were very likely to recommend them to friends and family.

“Asian veggies are seen to be good value for money, quick to cook and prepare, while also tasting great, which ticks all the boxes for consumers,” Mr White said.

Buk choy best known Asian vegetable

Buk Choy had the highest spontaneous awareness among consumers, followed closely by Choy Sum, according to AusVeg.

However, the research also showed a large portion of consumers could not name any varieties, indicating that there was “still potential for boosting sales by increasing awareness of Asian vegetables overall”.

“Communicating the health benefits of Asian vegetables is particularly important as 90 per cent of Australian adults still don’t eat the recommended daily serves of vegetables,” Mr White said.

Preference for individual purchases

The study showed that Asian vegetables have a monthly consumption rate of about 89 serves per month, with most consumers preferring to purchase them individually rather than in packs.

“The popularity of Asian vegetables is on the rise, and the future purchasing intent data suggests consumers are likely to continue enjoying the convenience, health benefits and great taste of vegetables in this category,” Mr White said.

Bok choy among the most popular Asian vegetables (image credit: MeiTeng)