Research from Hort Innovation and Deloitte Access Economics has identified that more than 90 per cent of Australians fail to eat their recommended five or more serves of vegetables every day – and the average Australian eats less than half their recommended intake, consuming only 2.3 serves of vegetables a day, far short of the recommended 5 serves (or 375 grams).

If Australians ate 10 per cent more vegetables per day (or roughly 20 grams more vegetables), all levels of government could reap $100 million per year in health savings, and vegetable growers could generate an estimated $23 million in additional profit every year.

A recently completed levy-funded project, delivered by Workshop Australia, has investigated the potential to create more interest in using vegetables among cooks and chefs. This project has also scoped out opportunities to better educate cooks, chefs, and food service/hospitality students about how to prepare vegetables and incorporate them into menus.

After in-depth one-on-one interviews and a series of group discussions with TAFE student cooks/chefs, TAFE hospitality students and cooking school cooks/chefs, the project team developed recommendations for the industry to pursue.

These recommendations include:

  • Creating educational/”how to” content to explain how and why cooks and chefs can use vegetables in their meals.
  • Engaging an industry champion to inspire inquiries about using vegetables and direct stakeholders to the educational resources.
  • Motivating and incentivising student cooks and chefs to use vegetables in meals, including educational experiences.

Hort Innovation is now working with growers and industry members to assess the recommendations and identify the next steps for investment to get the most value out of this research, including identifying areas that would best be supported by marketing funds if the industry were to establish a marketing levy.

You can read more about this project on the InfoVeg database, including the full final report scoping the current issues surrounding the use of vegetables in food service and the complete list of recommendations by the service providers.

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 5 June 2018. Subscribe to the Update using our online form to receive the latest industry news in your inbox every week!