To chill or not to chill? That is the question on the minds of Australian consumers according to a recent Project Harvest report released by AUSVEG. A lack of knowledge on how to store vegetables is leading to unnecessary wastage in Australian homes, according to the findings from 12 focus groups held around Australia.
“According to this research, if vegetables go ‘off’ before consumers have an opportunity to eat them, they are less likely to purchase that vegetable again,” said AUSVEG Spokesperson, Mr Kurt Hermann.
AUSVEG is Australia’s leading horticulture body representing 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
“Australian vegetables are the freshest in the world, yet wastage is a huge issue for many Australian households,” said Mr Hermann.
“Innovations in packaging may help to address this problem, but with many consumers sceptical of pre-packaged vegetables, educating Australians on how to store vegetables once they get them home is the key.”
Many Australians shop on a weekly basis, yet most consumers currently don’t expect their vegetables to last that long.
On average Australians expect Asian vegetables and Baby spinach to remain fresh for five days, whereas Capsicums and Brussels sprouts are expected to keep for eight days.
“Understanding how to store vegetables may help to keep vegetables fresh until consumers’ next supermarket trip. For instance, Asian vegetables such as Bok Choy should be stored in an airtight plastic bag in the fridge, whereas Baby spinach should be stored in an open bag in the crisper,” said Mr Hermann.
“With many vegetables going to waste each year, simply changing the way that vegetables are stored at home has the potential to greatly benefit the household budget of Australian consumers.”
The research project has been funded by HAL using the National Vegetable Levy and matched funds from the Australian Government.
Posted 10 April 2014