Vegetable snacking options market research – stage 2 (VG15060)
What was it all about?
This short project undertook market research into vegetable snacking options, looking at distribution channels, smaller vegetable product forms and overcoming issues and challenges related to using locally produced vegetables in processed snack form.
The research identified a number of distribution channels worthy of consideration for fresh vegetable-based snacks, in addition to mainstream food retailers and services. These included vending machines, education channels such as school canteens and childcare meal services, health and fitness related venues, and accommodation, airline and workplace channels. Department stores, as well as online speciality, health and recreation stores, were also identified as potential channels for the distribution of shelf-stable snacks.
Project work also included assessing vegetable products that have potential as fresh snacks. The below attributes were identified as ideal in a fresh vegetable snack:
- Small if not bite-size, ideally naturally or else with minimal fresh-cut processing
- Available in whole form, or with minimal processing, to maximise portability and freshness
- Pleasant taste and texture, along with no major digestion challenges
- Able and pleasant to be eaten in a raw and whole form, in reasonable quantities
- Able to be eaten on the go, offering convenience and minimal mess.
Of 50 vegetables assessed in the project, 17 were identified as being most suited for consideration as fresh snacking options. These include beans (butter and green), broccoli, capsicum, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, mushrooms (button, portabello, shiitake and specialty), peas (green, snow and sugar snap), radishes, squash, swedes, sweet corn, tomatoes and zucchini.
And while there is demand for healthier snacks, and opportunities in the fresh and processed vegetable snack market, the researchers noted that any proposed investment in this area must incorporate a sound business strategy to:
- Overcome the challenges associated with operating in a competitive snack food market
- Clearly identify and incorporate a range of desirable product attributes that meet market demand
- Identify the most appropriate and effective distribution channel/s to reach the intended target market
- Identify suitable technology that generates economies of scale and allows for the inclusion of desired product attributes.
This project was a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation
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