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Consumers go back to nature

vegetablesOrganic food suppliers are set to benefit from a shift in Australian eating patterns, where the population is increasingly choosing naturally healthy food options like fresh vegetables over ‘diet’ foods, such as low fat yoghurt and artificially sweetened ‘no sugar’ soft drinks, according to new research from Project Harvest.

New market analysis from the project, which tracks consumer attitudes towards vegetable purchases, has found shoppers are consuming fewer grains, processed sugars and juices, and are increasingly looking at the nutritional content of products to make their purchasing decisions.

“A lot of current diet trends emphasise the consumption of naturally healthy ingredients, and the analysis shows that this is likely to become more important into the future, which is an encouraging sign for future vegetable consumption,” said  Kurt Hermann, AUSVEG Assistant Manager, Industry Development.

“With consumers increasing their nutrition knowledge, and the wealth of information available about the health benefits and vitamins contained within specific vegetables, health conscious shoppers are increasingly able to tailor their diets using fresh vegetables to meet their nutritional needs.”

“Australians are particularly lucky, as our local growers produce clean, green and safe vegetables, and consumers can take advantage of the premium quality on offer.”

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

The report states nutrition is the key driver for consumers purchasing many vegetable varieties, ahead of their taste and the specific recipes they have in mind. Previous consumer research has found that nearly two thirds of Australians say health benefits are the reason they purchase specific vegetables.

“For example, when asked why they buy broccoli, the two leading reasons consumers gave were ‘because it’s healthy’ and ‘because it’s high in nutrition’,” said Hermann.

“Broccoli has a wide range of nutritional benefits, including being high in fibre and vitamin C, as well as being packed with antioxidants. This means that Australians looking to fill these specific needs, or simply wanting to eat more healthily in general, are choosing to purchase broccoli as it fits their diet well.”

“Everyone knows that a diet rich in fresh vegetables is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, and we encourage all Australians to consume a variety of veggies to ensure they’re getting the full range of nutritional benefits available.”

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

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