A taste for convenience
could be changing the way Australians shop for vegetables, according to peak
industry body AUSVEG, with new research finding that consumers are increasingly
buying vegetables in formats that suit their immediate needs with little left

The latest Project Harvest report, released by consumer research group Colmar
Brunton, has found that an increase in sales of small pre-packaged vegetables
and individual vegetables over the last eight months has been matched by a drop
in larger pre-packaged formats.

“Many consumers are mindful of not wanting to buy more vegetables than they’re
going to use, and we’re seeing this in the latest research,” said AUSVEG
spokesperson, Mr Kurt Hermann.

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing more than 9,000
Australian vegetable and potato growers.

“These findings really reflect the fact that some Australians are treating
supermarkets like extensions of their own fridges,” said Mr Hermann.

“When they go vegetable shopping, these consumers are only planning a couple of
meals ahead, because they’ll return in a night or two. This means that they’re
looking for portion sizes that they can grab, use immediately and have nothing
left over.”

“In some cases this leads them to buying loose leaves, or convenient formats
like salad trays and small pre-packaged bags. In other cases, it means they’re
only looking to buy one or two broccoli heads or chillies instead of a full

The report has also identified that wanting to avoid waste is preventing many
consumers from buying more fresh vegetables, including staples like peas and

It’s a particular concern around lettuce purchases, with nearly 40 per cent of
shoppers saying they don’t buy more lettuce because they don’t want to waste

The amount of consumers buying individual lettuce leaves has more than doubled
since March this year, and now constitutes a full quarter of shoppers.
Meanwhile, the amount of consumers buying large pre-packaged bags of lettuce
leaves has dropped by more than a third since November last year.

“Australian growers could capitalise on this trend by offering consumer-driven
products, like pre-packing fresh vegetables in single-meal servings, either by
themselves or mixed together,” said Mr Hermann.

“By offering vegetables to shoppers in easy-to-enjoy formats, the vegetable
industry could help Australians make healthy diet choices and increase overall
vegetable consumption.”

Project Harvest is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the
National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.


Hermann, AUSVEG Assistant Manager – Industry Development

Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0421 007 510, Email: kurt.hermann@ausveg.com.au