Prioritising short-term gratification over long-term gain could be the key to getting Australians to eat more vegetables, with research suggesting that emphasising the long-term health benefits of eating fresh produce is not enough to entice consumers.
Professor Hans Van Trijp, of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, has claimed that appeals to consumers’ motivations to eat healthily must complement, not replace, appeals to traditional priorities such as taste, convenience and price.
“We know that consumers rate vegetables as the healthiest food group over fruit and nuts, but it’s clear that their understanding of the health benefits of veggies isn’t translating into increased consumption,” AUSVEG spokeman Shaun Lindhe said.
“According to Professor Van Trijp, the key may be to combine appeals to health with more fundamental motivations to ensure consumers understand the short-term benefits of eating vegetables.”
Mr Lindhe emphasised that consumers were looking for convenience in their vegetables, particularly in the 18-35 age grouping, where they were three times more likely to buy pre-prepared vegetables than the average Australian.