Quick and healthy: Australia's snack habits an opportunity for veg industry
Australia’s snacking habits have quadrupled in the past 10 years, and a leading horticultural body sees an opportunity to create healthy vegie-based snacks.
The latest Project Harvest report, produced by Colmar Brunton on behalf of Horticulture Innovation Australia, has found that over the last decade snacking in Australia has increased by more than 400% in frequency, penetration and monetary value.
This fact, combined with the study’s finding that consumers have greater knowledge and expectations of their food’s nutritional value than they did a decade ago, has created market openings for healthy, consumer-friendly snacks, according to AUSVEG, the horticultural body representing 9000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.
“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,” said AUSVEG Deputy CEO Andrew White.
“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.”
The research has identified that more than a third of consumers already enjoy vegetables as snacks, with 37% of Australians munching cucumber and 35% crunching 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,” said White.
“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.”
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