Convenience driving consumers to buy vegetables in new ways

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 8th April 2015
Convenience driving consumers to buy vegetables in new ways
Convenience driving consumers to buy vegetables in new ways

Australian consumers are exploring new frontiers in grocery shopping, with one in eight Australians purchasing vegetables online, according to the latest findings from the ongoing consumer research study of Project Harvest.

The study, which is being undertaken by vegetable and potato growers’ representative body AusVeg, also found that the convenience of online shopping was winning Australians over, with the majority of consumers who shop online saying that the ease with which they can buy online was a key driver.

Project Harvest is a joint initiative funded through Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) by the National Vegetable Levy with matched funds from the Commonwealth government.

“When asked their reasons for buying vegetables online, the overwhelming majority of consumers listed ‘convenience’,” said Kurt Hermann, AusVeg Assistant Manager – Industry Development.

‘Buying Australian’ important

Mr Hermann said the research had also found that Australians continued to support buying Australian product, and that online shopping was “a part of of this strategy, with respondents’ comments suggesting that consumers make a link between buying online and supporting local growers”.

Convenience also driving growth of prepared vegetables

The study has also found that convenience was driving other changes to the way Australians buy vegetables.

“With time becoming a precious commodity, we’ve found that Australians are looking for quicker and simpler ways of getting vegetables into their diet,” Mr Hermann said.

Mr Hermann said this could take the form of online shopping, as shown by the 33 per cent of online shoppers who said they bought vegetables online at least once a fortnight. However, he said “it can also take the form of buying pre-cut and pre-packaged produce in-store”.

“In celery consumption, for example, research shows that 40 per cent of consumers are buying pre-packaged celery, be that half-celery, celery stalks, or celery hearts,” Mr Hermann said. “This wave of data also shows an increase in purchases of trays of zucchini, from 11 per cent of consumers in August to 18 per cent of consumers in December,” he said.

“We’re encouraged by signs that Australians are finding ways to keep their diets healthy and nutritious even as they deal with increasing demands on their time,” Mr Hermann said. “All Australians should be enjoying the health and wellbeing benefits that a vegetable-rich diet can provide, and as this research shows, they can take advantage of a range of convenient options to make this happen,” he said.