Consumers are increasingly turning to obscure Aussie-grown vegetables in an effort to satiate exotic dining desires, according to a new market research report recently released by AUSVEG.

“Increasingly, Australians are craving vegetable ingredients that are not in the mainstream. This demand could evoke a ‘hipster revolution’ for emerging and underground vegetable varieties,’ said AUSVEG spokesperson, Felicity Powell.

“Gay Choy, Taro and Winter Melon are among the lesser-known vegetable varieties of Australian grown produce. They’re pretty underground, you’ve probably never heard of them, but if you want to spice up the kitchen or add a flavour of the exotic, these are right up your alley,” said Ms Powell.

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.

The survey of over 1,000 people, completed as part of an ongoing vegetable industry consumer research project, also found that Asian vegetables, sweet potato and baby spinach were among the top vegetables that consumers like to see more of on their plates.

“It comes as no surprise that Australian consumers are demanding more exotic vegetable produce, particularly with the rising popularity of international cuisines. Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai cuisines are particularly in vogue, and our study indicated that they also provide the most diverse choice of vegetable produce,” said Ms Powell.

Statistics from the market research report also indicated a desire amongst consumers to explore new vegetable varieties, and for restaurants to experiment with innovative varieties of common vegetable produce.

“This report has shown that emerging vegetable varieties, such as the Tesoro tomato, which is unique variety of tomato packed full of flavour and yet low in liquid, have huge market potential in Australia,” said Ms Powell.

While the Tesoro is currently only available in the USA, the variety is set to be featured during the AUSVEG 2014 Product Innovation Seminar, to be held at the Cairns Convention Centre on June 19.

“By championing innovations in the vegetable industry, AUSVEG are working to bring exciting and exotic experiences onto the plates of Australian consumers,” said Ms Powell.

The research project has been funded through HAL using the National Vegetable Levy and matched funds from the Australian Government.


MEDIA CONTACT: Felicity Powell, Spokesperson, AUSVEG. Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0413 063 447 E-mail: