Australians are focusing heavily on their health in 2016, with consumer research showing that most consumers consider eating more fresh produce to be the top priority to improve their eating habits over the coming year.
The Ipsos research into consumers’ food priorities for 2016 has revealed that 40 per cent of consumers rank eating more fresh fruit and vegetables as their highest dietary concern, beating out other healthy eating options such as reducing their sugar intake.
“Fresh vegetables provide a range of nutritional benefits and are a vital part of a well-balanced diet, so it’s great to see Australian consumers recognising that eating more vegetables is the first step towards achieving a healthier lifestyle,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Dimi Kyriakou.
“Australians are incredibly lucky to have a huge range of fresh, clean and delicious produce on offer from local growers right in our backyard.”
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing more than 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.
“The research has also found that 23 per cent of Australians are looking to eat healthier snacks, reflecting the need for consumers looking to balance health concerns with the increasing popularity of snacking between meals,” said Ms Kyriakou.
However, Ipsos states that consumers believe healthiness is time-consuming and expensive to achieve, a perception that research has revealed is at odds with the reality.
“Fresh Australian vegetables are great value for money, and previous Project Harvest research by Colmar Brunton, commissioned by Horticulture Innovation Australia, has found that consumers are often surprised at how inexpensive their fresh produce purchases are compared to the rest of their shopping basket,” said Ms Kyriakou.
“We know that many Australians already take advantage of the great local produce that’s available to them, but they tend to see vegetables as part of established meals, like lunch or dinner.”
“Australian growers are constantly innovating and offering ready-to-eat product formats for time-poor consumers. As a result, many of Australia’s favourite vegetables, like carrots, capsicum or celery, are just a wash and a chop away from being packed for a healthy snack at work or school.”