Friday, May 31, 2024

Consumers using traditional veg in novel ways

Australians are embracing new ways of using their favourite veggies in cuisines from around the world, according to the latest Project Harvest report.

Produced by market research agency Colmar Brunton, the research offers an insight into Australians’ vegetable consumption habits, from their favourite cooking styles to the national cuisines in which they use particular vegetables.

“Thanks to this research, we can see that Australians are more than happy to take vegetables which they may have grown up with in Australian cuisine, and use them in new cooking styles and recipes,” AUSVEG Deputy CEO Mr Andrew White said.

“For example, green beans are used most in Australian cuisine, but nearly half of all respondents say they also use them in Chinese cooking, and a quarter of respondents use them in Thai food.

“Similarly, cauliflower is still overwhelmingly used in traditional and modern Australian cuisine, as well as in British cooking, but now more than one in every three Australians use it in Chinese cuisine.

“We also see particular vegetables commonly being used in other cuisines, such as pumpkins and beans in Indian cooking, or parsley and carrots in Italian recipes.”

The report also investigates consumers’ preferred ways of cooking vegetables, highlighting seasonal variations in how Australians prepare their produce, as well as long-term trends.

“While this report does confirm some common-sense facts, such as that Australians are more likely to eat carrots raw as we head into the warmer months, it also exposes other trends – for example, the steady increase in Australians roasting cauliflower over the last year and a half,” Mr White said.

“This information in cooking styles and cuisine is useful to the industry because it can help guide ways to attract consumers, such as by providing serving suggestions which highlight the precise taste and texture combinations that consumers are looking for.

“For example, we know consumers are stir-frying cauliflower and using it in Chinese cooking – by making serving suggestions which mix this combination in with other vegetables, growers may be able to attract more Australians to the fresh, delicious and nutritious produce they provide.”

Project Harvest is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

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