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Vegetable consumers motivated by superficial and seasonal factors

Looks and seasonality are the main factors which lead consumers to buy more vegetables, according to a vegetable industry report conducted early this year.

The Veginsights: The Market report, found that 53 per cent of consumers who bought more vegetables in the first quarter of this year, did so because they were “in season looking good.” Forty five per cent of consumers bought more vegetables because they were “on special.”

The report revealed that families were more sensitive to buying vegetables when they were on sale, while singles and couples were more responsive to the look and seasonality of produce. According to the report, more than 60 per cent of singles and couples bought more vegetables because they were in season or looked good.

However, AUSVEG spokesperson Andrew White said that the physical appearance of vegetables did not always determine their quality.

“Consumers buy with their eyes and are always looking for those products which appear to be of a higher quality, however, this is not always a logical buying system,” he said.

“Often, many of the blemishes on vegetable products are purely cosmetic and have little or no relation to the quality of the product from a nutritional or a taste perspective.”

“Vegetable growers are very aware of the perception that consumers want blemish-free produce and adhere to quite strict quality specifications in order to sell produce to retailers. It is clear that both seasonality and retail specials have a strong influence on whether consumers buy more vegetable products or not,” Mr White said.

The report also revealed that 72 per cent of all households purchased the same quantity of vegetables in the first quarter of this year relative to the same quarter last year.

The Veginsights: The Market report is a part of the Vegetable Industry Development Program to better inform vegetable growers about consumer behaviour and markets.

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