The consumer is the underlying driving force of the vegetable industry. Without people to buy growers’ produce there would be no industry at all. It sounds like common sense but often growers can be too focused on increasing farm productivity without knowing if their product is what consumers are demanding in the first place.
With so much importance placed upon consumers, 45% of R&D levy funds have been allocated to Consumer Alignment as outlined in the Australian Vegetable Industry Strategic Investment Plan (2012-2017), which prioritises increasing demand and willingness-to-pay for vegetable products on both national and global scales. This can be achieved by improving the consumer’s perceived value of Australian fresh vegetables. Research into understanding buyers’ needs and preferences will allow growers to best meet the expectations of consumers by delivering products that are convenient, sustainable, and consistently of high quality.
Ongoing market research is vital to understanding the changing consumer tastes and interests. HIA has commissioned market research company Colmar Brunton to undertake a three-year project called Project Harvest, in addition to a range of other consumer and market development focused projects.
Monthly reports by Colmar Brunton will provide invaluable insights and detail into how consumers are engaging with fresh vegetable products. The feedback provided by the Colmar Brunton reports will uncover consumer trends and preferences which will help vegetable growers meet those expectations as they change. A closer alignment between consumer expectations and vegetable product design will hopefully provide greater value for buyers and a higher return for growers.
The reports also provide consumer data from a global perspective, such as recent vegetable product launches from around the world. Even if productivity increases around Australia, profitability will not grow unless demand rises with supply. This is why Consumer Alignment objectives place a high value on global consumers, international markets and vegetable exports.
Veggycation provides a platform to strengthen consumers' perceptions of the value of Australian-grown vegetable products. The catalogue of nutritional and health messages developed in this project provides a mechanism whereby the vegetable marketers can start to differentiate their products in the market place. Creating visible and valued points of difference for products is an important step for product success.
|This project is funded by
Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the National Vegetable
Levy and funds from the Australian Government.