Australians know there’s
nothing healthier than a plate full of vegetables, but still aren’t eating
enough of them, with new consumer research exposing the gap between consumers’
attitudes towards vegetables and their follow-through at mealtimes.

A report compiled by market research agency Colmar Brunton shows that when
asked to rate the perceived health of food types, consumers place vegetables
well and truly at the front of the pack, ahead of fruit, nuts, pulses/beans and
all other food types.

However, vegetable consumption continues to lag, with the Australian Bureau of
Statistics (ABS) recently revealing that Australians eat fewer than half of
their recommended daily serves of vegetables. News reports yesterday also
revealed that data from the Tasmanian State Government shows 93 per cent of
Tasmanians don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables.

“It’s an encouraging sign that Australians clearly understand the health and
nutrition benefits that vegetables can give them, but it’s disappointing to see
that this isn’t translating into well balanced, vegetable-rich diets,” said
AUSVEG Deputy CEO Andrew White.

“According to the ABS, Australian women eat an average of 2.5 serves of
vegetables a day, compared to their recommended 5 or more, while men, whose
recommended intake is 5-6 or more serves a day, are eating fewer vegetables
than women, averaging only 2.3 serves a day.”

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

“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of competition for consumers’ wallets. This
report shows that while consumers may know what the healthy choice is, they’re
often being persuaded to go with other options,” said Mr White.

The research shows that consumers are interested in pre-prepared options of
vegetables, particularly among those which are perceived as requiring more
preparation to cook, such as green peas, sweet corn, Asian vegetables and

“We know that a big factor is the extra time and preparation that consumers
think vegetables require – for many people with time-poor lifestyles, it can
seem a lot easier to pick up a ready-to-eat meal, even when many vegetables
require little more than a wash and a chop,” said Mr White.

“Offering convenient, ready-to-eat formats for vegetables, or ensuring
consumers know about quick and simple ways to prepare produce, may be key
factors in helping Australians make better diet choices.”

“Vegetables don’t just offer nutritional benefits – the fresh produce created
by Australian growers can add new tastes, textures and colours to meals. We’d
love to see consumers take advantage of this by increasing their vegetable

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

White, AUSVEG Deputy CEO
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0409 989 575, Email: