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Completed project

Optimum vegetable portion size to meet consumer needs (VG12094)

Key research provider: BDRC Jones Donald
Publication date: Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What was it all about?

The vegetable industry is looking for ways to increase vegetable consumption. With a though that consumers might be buying fewer vegetables for fear of wasting them, this project sought to explore the potential for optimising portion sizes to drive increased purchase and consumption.

To find out how shoppers decide what to buy, researchers conducted 150 in-store surveys in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. They then held 10 consumer workshops to get further information on purchasing decisions and what shoppers considered to be the optimum portion in order to avoid waste. They were asked about six vegetables: carrots, pumpkin, cabbage, cauliflower, celery and broccoli.

To ensure that new portion sizes were feasible for retailers, growers and processors, the team consulted with industry and other relevant stakeholders. This process allowed decision making on which portion sizes were worthy of being trialled. 

Key findings included:

  • Consumers have a strong aversion to wasting vegetables and as a result, many would rather pay more per kilo if it meant they wasted less
  • Nearly one third of shoppers limit their purchases of the six vegetables to avoid waste
  • Removing ‘excess parts’ of the vegetable will enhance perceived value
  • New portion sizes do not necessarily need to be developed, with consumers welcoming a greater availability of the standard vegetable options
  • Offering a greater range of portion options will increase overall vegetable purchases
  • Smaller versions of vegetables should be considered, since larger vegetables are commonly purchased in halves
  • Consumers would welcome greater inspiration on how to use vegetables.
Related levy funds


Funding statement:
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2014. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).