Asian vegetables making a home in Australian diets, latest market research

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 11th February 2015
Asian vegetables making a home in Australian diets, latest market research
Asian vegetables making a home in Australian diets, latest market research

Australia is known for accepting food from all cultures with open arms – and it seems Asian vegetables are no exception, according to new findings from market research organisation Nielsen.

The increased demand exceeds the growth in Australia’s Asian demographic.

Data from the latest Nielsen consumer research report, prepared for the Australian vegetable industry, showed that Asian vegetables are carving out a spot in the Australian diet, with an 8 per cent increase in both sales by volume and the overall value of sales, compared to a year ago.

“Australian consumers are buying more Asian vegetables more often, and as you’d expect, the average spend per trip has also increased, which is fantastic news for the vegetable industry,” said Tamara Ungar, AusVeg spokesperson Tamara Ungar.

Ms Ungar said these vegetables, including bok choy, choy sum, wombok and pak choy, were becoming increasingly popular with Australian consumers.

Asian vegetables particularly popular with couples

Ms Ungar said the increasingly popularity of Asian vegetables was especially the case with couples aged 35-59, who had increased their share of sales by volume.

“Last year, they bought 20 per cent of the total volume of Asian vegetables sold in Australia – this year, that’s leapt to 30 per cent,” Ms Ungar said.

‘Ease of preparation’ a key factor

Data from Project Harvest, another AusVeg market research project tracking consumer sentiment regarding vegetables, has suggested that a major factor in the increasing demand for Asian vegetables is ease of preparation.

“According to Project Harvest data, 58 per cent of consumers buy Asian vegetables because they’re easy to prepare, and the same proportion buys them because they cook quickly,” Ms Ungar said.

“We’re also finding that consumers appreciate the health benefits and the variety that Asian vegetables can add to their diet, and in conjunction with the convenience factor, this has led to them becoming very popular as a quick and nutritious option for a weekday dinner,” Ms Ungar said.

Opportunities for other stir fry vegetables

With stir frying being the most popular serving option for Asian vegetables, AusVeg said there were opportunities for Australian consumers to mix in a variety of other produce, such as carrots and capsicum.

“Australian growers produce fresh, high-quality vegetables, and consumers should never pass up a chance to use these to add even more flavour and nutrition to their meals,” said Ms Ungar. “We’d love to see shoppers expand their vegetable selection during 2015 and reap the health rewards,” she said.

This research has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.