Consumer food preferences changing

Healthy eating, as well as social and environmental responsibility, are the latest consumer trends likely to drive Australian food consumption, according to new research.

Analysis conducted by market research agency Colmar Brunton for the Australian vegetable industry body AUSVEG has identified key food trends that will emerge over the next year. Consumers’ increasingly emotional involvement with what they are eating is likely to be a major factor.

“Consumers continue to be emotionally invested in their food, and particularly what their food choices are saying about them,” AUSVEG spokesman Dimi Kyriakou said.

“With social media channels such as Instagram allowing consumers to quickly and easily share their food – both self-prepared meals and food they’ve bought – this analysis suggests they’ll increasingly turn to fresh vegetables to add a lively, vibrant look to their meals, as well as for the health benefits.”

The insights are behind the forecast of a move away from overly processed and sweetened food towards unprocessed or raw options as consumer interest in food knowledge is maintained.

“Knowing where their food is from, knowing how it was grown and knowing whether it’s in season are becoming more and more important to consumers as they use this information to make assumptions about their food’s freshness and its overall quality,” Mr Kyriakou said.

He added that consumers concerned about the origin of their produce were in a great position to buy local produce, with fresh, high-quality vegetables being grown across the country.

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