Beetroot a shopping list staple for more and more Aussies

PROMOTION of beetroot as a 'superfood' has led the vegetable to become a kitchen staple among Australian consumers who purchase vegetables primarily for their nutritional health benefits, according to new consumer research from Project Harvest.

The industry-funded research, which is conducted by Colmar Brunton and tracks consumer attitudes towards vegetable purchases, has found that interest in beetroot has boomed among shoppers that are interested in its nutritional benefits following its promotion as a superfood in Europe.

"Beetroot sales are set to soar in the UK to over £1 million per week due to its highly publicised nutritional powers in relation to blood pressure, cholesterol and degenerative disease, and we are seeing a similar trend in Australia, with nearly 30% of consumers looking to buy more beetroot," AUSVEG Deputy CEO Andrew White said.

"Project Harvest research has indicated increased levels of interest in beetroot from 'Conscious Improvers' in Australia. These consumers love to experience new things and choose vegetables based on their nutritional benefits.

"Beetroot also has strong levels of consumer endorsement, with those who buy the vegetable expressing a strong desire to continue purchasing it and a willingness to recommend it to families and friends for its great taste, health benefits and value for money."

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing more than 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.

The Project Harvest research also highlights the increased use of beetroot as a core ingredient in products developed to meet the demands of health-conscious consumers.

"Beetroot is becoming the vegetable of choice for global product innovation, with 508 products containing beetroot released globally in the last three months, including dips, juices and even beetroot ketchup," said Mr White.

"Australia has released a wide variety of dips and vitamin supplements containing beetroot, which are becoming increasingly popular with Australian consumers."

"Data that analyses vegetable consumers by their purchasing category can give growers a better understanding of what value Australian consumers are looking to get out of their vegetables, which can give them the tools to tailor their produce to meet consumers' needs."

Project Harvest consumer research is funded through Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

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