Australians now snack four times as much as they did 10 years ago, new consumer research indicates, presenting a valuable opportunity for the vegetable industry to capitalise on this trend by creating more healthy snack options for Australians on the go.
The latest Project Harvest report, produced by Colmar Brunton, has found that over the past decade snacking in Australia has increased by more than 400 per cent in terms of frequency, penetration and monetary value.
The study also indicates that consumers now have greater knowledge and expectations of their food’s nutritional value than a decade ago, which has created market openings for ‘healthy’, consumer-friendly snacks.
“Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen busier Australian lifestyles push traditional meals aside in favour of more versatile single-serve items, leading to this rise in Australians consuming snack foods,” AUSVEG Deputy CEO Andrew White said.
“At the same time, they’re increasingly aware of the specific health benefits they want from their foods and are looking for products that suit these needs.”
“Project Harvest has suggested that by putting consumer needs at the forefront of new product development, the vegetable industry can take full advantage of the increasing demand for healthy snacks.”
The research has identified that some consumers already regularly enjoy veggie favourites as snacks, with 37 per cent of Australians surveyed snacking on cucumber and 35 per cent on celery.
“We know people prioritise really quick, clean food options for snacks, and what we’ve found is that for a lot of consumers, raw vegetables like celery, cucumber and carrots fill that need – they take seconds to prepare and there’s very little waste,” Mr White said.
“This is a great chance for industry to capitalise on the snacking trend. There are already vegetable products internationally which are tailored to this market – for example, a snack-pack product has recently been launched in South Africa which includes pre-cut cucumber wedges.”
Project Harvest research is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.