Looks and seasonality are the main factors which lead consumers to buy more vegetables, a vegetable industry report analysing market trends for the first quarter of 2010 has found, with the “Singles and Couples with a Higher Income” category the most influenced by these factors.

AUSVEG spokesperson Andrew White said that over 60 per cent of Singles and Couples with a Higher Income bought more vegetables in the first quarter of 2010 because it was in season and it looked good.

“Consumers buy with their eyes and are always looking for those products which appear to be of a higher quality, however, this is not always a logical buying system. Often, many of the blemishes on vegetable products are purely cosmetic and have little or no relation to the quality of the product from a nutritional or a taste perspective,” Mr White said.

“From a growers perspective, growers would be happy to sell as much produce as possible, however, there are not as many processing avenues available in Australia today, such as the vegetable juice market, for alternative revenue streams with regard to produce which has blemishes,” he said.

The Veginsights: The Market Q1 2010 report found that the dominant reasons for buying more vegetables across all household segments were “in season looking good” at 53% and “on special” at 45%, with other reasons at 33%.

“Vegetable growers are very aware of the perception that consumers want blemish-free produce and adhere to quite strict quality specifications in order to sell produce to retailers. It is clear that both seasonality and retail specials have a strong influence on whether consumers buy more vegetable products or not,” Mr White said.

“Families and empty nesters were more sensitive to specials pricing, while singles and couples were more responsive to the look and seasonality of the produce.”

AUSVEG is the national peak industry body representing the interests of around 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.

While seasonality and looks appear to be the dominant drivers of increased vegetable purchasing, the report revealed that 72% of all households purchased the same quantity of vegetables for this quarter relative to the last. Of those who altered buying, 15% purchased less and 13% purchased more vegetables.

The Veginsights: The Market Q1 2010 report was produced by the vegetable industry as part of the Vegetable Industry Development Program to better inform vegetable growers about consumer behaviour and markets.

The Vegetable Industry Development Program is funded through the National Vegetable Levy, with matched funds from the Australian Government.


MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew White, Senior Communications Officer, AUSVEG
Phone: (03) 9822 0388, Mobile: 0409 989 575, Email: andrew.white@ausveg.com.au

** Growers and members of the industry can download a copy of March 2010 quarterly report, by logging into the Vegetable Market section of the AUSVEG website. 

Users who are not registered yet can do so by clicking here.