There is a clear belief in the industry that consumers could, and should, be eating more vegetables. This belief is backed up by the facts –with relatively low penetration and volumes for most vegetables (relative to serving sizes and quantities recommended for good health).
The goal of this research was to identify what vegetable growers could do to increase consumption.
Our approach rested on differences among consumers in the market: some consumers are innovative when it comes to using vegetables and some are not, using the same few vegetables in the same few ways consistently. The question we wanted to answer was what differentiated the innovators from the rest and could that difference be turned into a set of principles for growing vegetable consumption at meal occasions?
The RIGHT Answer
What differentiates innovators from the rest is not their knowledge of what to do with vegetables, or even their motivation for doing so. Rather, what differentiated them was confidence in knowing what to do with vegetables and information at critical points in time. Confidence is a hard concept to instil, but it can be boosted to the extent that new information can be made to seem like the familiar. So, we developed a number of mnemonic devices to associate with vegetables, things like “cook vegetables on the BBQ along with meat” or “add vegetables when cooking eggs for breakfast” or “cook all the vegetable at once (and then use already cooked vegetable in another preparation).” Estimates from the study suggest that a majority of consumers would boost their vegetable consumption via the use of at least one of the nine mnemonic devices we developed. The results have implications not only for the marketing of vegetables but for health advocacy and public policy.