Since June 2013 Colmar Brunton has been tracking consumer perceptions and behaviour in relation to fresh vegetables through the ‘Project Harvest’ project.
Initially sixteen vegetables were tracked. The project has since been expanded to a total of 28 vegetables, analysed on a quarterly rotational basis.
An additional four customised market research studies have also been completed: Vegetable Consumption in Restaurants (2013); Presentation and Packaging of Vegetables (2013); Fresh Vegetable Consumer Segmentation (2014); Millennials ‘Early Harvest’ Online Community (2016).
Tracking is undertaken monthly. Key findings from the recent waves of tracking include:
- Approximately one third of consumers limit their purchase of vegetables based on not wanting to waste any. Previously, the consumption tracker has revealed that approximately 6 per cent of vegetables purchased are wasted and that 34 per cent of us don’t believe we can reduce our wastage further.
- Top five vegetables regularly consumed – carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, onion and lettuce. In comparison the top five vegetables purchased in September 2015 were carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, onions and broccoli.
- Top five vegetables for stated future purchase – kale, Asian vegetables, beetroot, sweetpotato and silverbeet.
- Consumers who purchase fresh vegetables online (10 per cent) are triggered by convenience factors such as saving time, as well as deliveries. Meanwhile the majority of consumers (90 per cent) who do not purchase fresh vegetables online are concerned about quality and freshness, and would prefer to examine and select their vegetables from the store.
- Over the course of the three years of tracking consumer satisfaction, endorsement and interest in new varieties of vegetables have increased over time (1, 4 and 10 per cent respectively). The importance of having vegetables available has similarly increased (13 per cent), with health benefits the underlying trigger across all commodities.
Industry has access to an Interactive Research Tool (IRT), to view current tracking results at any time they require. Access may be requested by contacting Hort Innovation.
The Australian vegetable industry has identified a need to better understand consumer attitudes and perceptions to fresh vegetables as a priority.
Each ‘Project Harvest’ report provides information on consumer attitudes and category health benchmarks (e.g. importance, satisfaction, future purchase intention). Additionally, the monthly reports provide insights and actionable information.
Outcomes and opportunities for vegetables businesses include:
- awareness of current and future usage of vegetables
- improved understanding of drivers and barriers to purchase
- insight into perceptions of packaging, formats and freshness
- identification of opportunities and issues, such as emerging usage occasions.
Project name: Project Harvest
Project number: VG12078 and VG14060 (Phase 2)
Denise Hamblin, Colmar Brunton
This project has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the Vegetable levy and funds from the Australian Government.