Australians now snack four times as much as they did ten years ago, according to new consumer research, presenting a valuable opportunity for the vegetable industry to capitalise on this trend by creating more healthy snack options for Australians on the go.
The latest AUSVEG Project Harvest report, produced by Colmar Brunton, has found that over the last decade snacking in Australia has increased by more than 400 per cent in terms of frequency, penetration and monetary value.
The study has also indicated that consumers now have greater knowledge and expectations of their food’s nutritional value than they did a decade ago, which has created market openings for healthy, consumer friendly snacks.
“Over the last ten years, we’ve seen busier Australian lifestyles push traditional meals aside in favour of more versatile single serve items, leading to this rise in Australians consuming snack foods,” said AUSVEG Deputy CEO, Andrew White.
“At the same time, they’re increasingly aware of the specific health benefits they want from their foods and are looking for products that suit these needs.”
“Project Harvest has suggested that by putting consumer needs at the forefront of new product development, the vegetable industry can take full advantage of the increasing demand for healthy snacks.”
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.
The research has identified that some consumers already regularly enjoy veggie favourites as snacks, with 37 per cent of Australians crunching cucumber and 35 per cent snacking on celery.
“We know people prioritise really quick, clean food options for snacks, and what we’ve found is that for a lot of consumers, raw vegetables like celery, cucumber and carrots fill that need – they take seconds to prepare and there’s very little waste,” said White.
“This is a great chance for industry to capitalise on the snacking trend. There are already vegetable products internationally which are tailored to this market – for example, a snack pack product has recently been launched in South Africa which includes pre-cut cucumber wedges.”
“We’d encourage Australians to visit the vegetable aisle the next time they’re looking for a quick bite – a vegetable-rich diet is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, and by turning to veggies for a between-meal snack they can make a real difference to their well being.”
Project Harvest research is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.