Asian vegetables making a home in Australian diets

Australia is famous for accepting food from all cultures with open arms – and it seems Asian vegetables are no exception. Data from the latest Nielsen consumer research report, prepared for the Australian vegetable industry, shows that Asian vegetables are carving out a spot in the Australian diet, with an 8% increase in both sales by volume and the overall value of sales, compared to a year ago.

“Australian consumers are buying more Asian vegetables more often, and as you’d expect, the average spend per trip has also increased, which is fantastic news for the vegetable industry,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Tamara Ungar.

“These vegetables, including bok choy, choy sum, wombok and pak choy, are becoming increasingly popular with Australian consumers.”

“This is especially the case with couples aged 35-59, who have increased their share of sales by volume. Last year, they bought 20% of the total volume of Asian vegetables sold in Australia – this year, that’s leapt to 30%.”

Data from Project Harvest, another market research project tracking consumer sentiment regarding vegetables, suggests that a major factor in the increasing demand for Asian vegetables is ease of preparation.

“According to Project Harvest data, 58% of consumers buy Asian vegetables because they’re easy to prepare, and the same proportion buys them because they cook quickly,” said Ms Ungar.

“We’re also finding that consumers appreciate the health benefits and the variety that Asian vegetables can add to their diet, and in conjunction with the convenience factor, this has led to them becoming very popular as a quick and nutritious option for a weekday dinner.”

With stir frying being the most popular serving option for Asian vegetables, AUSVEG is encouraging Australian consumers to mix in a variety of other produce, such as carrots and capsicum, for a fast, healthy meal.

“Australian growers produce fresh, high-quality vegetables, and consumers should never pass up a chance to use these to add even more flavour and nutrition to their meals,” said Ms Ungar.

“We’d love to see shoppers expand their vegetable selection during 2015 and reap the health rewards.”

This research has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Posted 9 February 2015


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