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Completed project

Market research for investigating opportunities for more vegetable meal occasions (VG14026)

Key research provider: Horizon Research Corporation
Publication date: Thursday, March 31, 2016

What was it all about?

The objective of this project was to identify new occasions, seasonal opportunities, or ways to consume vegetables that have the most potential to increase demand.

It was found that all 11 vegetables studied in this project had untapped consumption potential, irrespective of their current popularity. The vegetables included carrots, pumpkin, capsicum, broccoli, cauliflower, sweetcorn, cabbage, green beans, leeks, eggplant and beetroot.

The project found that a lack of confidence and know-how are the main factors that restrict consumers’ use of vegetables on meal occasions. To combat this, it was outlined that substantially more vegetable meal occasions can be generated through the application of the following general principles:

  • Link new ideas for using vegetables to things consumers already do, but which they don’t often associate with vegetables (for example, making vegetable pasta sauces)
  • Highlight additional things that consumers can do with vegetables cooked in standard ways (for example, using leftover vegetables for lunch the next day)
  • Remind consumers of connections to vegetables that are familiar but might be overlooked (for example, vegetable desserts such as carrot cake).

The project outlined that more than 50 per cent of consumers will do more with vegetables if they are guided and motivated at critical points in time. Two examples are providing hard copy information at the point of purchase and ideas on incorporating vegetables into existing recipes, and giving realistic time estimates for different vegetable preparations.

Guided by these general principles, a total of nine ideas to increase vegetable use were generated, which take into account consumers’ lack of confidence and know-how with vegetables:

  • Add vegetables to popular meals
  • Stuff vegetables
  • Use vegetables in pasta sauces
  • BBQ vegetables along with meat
  • Add vegetables to eggs at breakfast
  • Transform pre-cooked vegetables into a salad
  • Transform pre-cooked vegetables into a soup
  • Cook all of the vegetables at once and plan ahead
  • Make familiar desserts with vegetables.

Due to the broad appeal of these ideas, all vegetable industry stakeholders – irrespective of their location, size or the profile of their customers – can use them to increase vegetable sales. In addition, the findings of this project can easily be extended to vegetables that were not investigated in this research.


Read all about the study on page 24 of this Vegetables Australia magazine edition

Related levy funds


Funding statement:
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2016. 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)).