What Are Australia’s Most Popular Vegetables?

A national survey conducted by the horticulture representative body AusVeg has revealed Australia's most popular supermarket vegetables. While potatoes continue to be the most farmed vegetable, carrots are the biggest seller, with nearly 95 percent of Australians purchasing a bag last month. The rest of the top ten has a somewhat curious order, with cauliflower managing to trump both capsicum and onion.

Vegetables picture from Shutterstock

According to the AusVeg poll of 800 consumers, tomatoes were the second most popular vegetable after carrots, with 92 percent of respondents having purchased the vegetable in the past month. The rest of the top ten consisted of potatoes (83 per cent), broccoli (80 per cent), cauliflower (79 per cent), celery (78 per cent), capsicums (76 per cent), white onion (76 per cent), cabbage (74 per cent) and zucchini (74 per cent).

Apparently, the popularity of the humble carrot can be attributed more to their vitamins and nutrients than taste, with nearly 70 percent of respondents purchasing the vegetable because ‘they are healthy’.

While the vegetables that made up the top ten were quite predictable, we were somewhat surprised by their order -- the low ranking of onions is especially curious given that it is a staple in so many homemade meals and cuisines. The apparent preference for white onions over the less expensive brown onions was also unexpected. Perhaps we're not a nation of cheapskates after all. The absence of Asian greens was also mildly surprising given the popularity of Thai and Chinese cuisine in Australia.

AusVeg will continue to run its survey on a monthly basis over the next three years.

"This consumer research provides valuable insights to the Australian vegetable industry that will assist growers in understanding consumer’s preferences over a three-year period,” said Andrew White, AusVeg's manager of industry development and communications.

"Insights include not only which vegetables are being purchased the most, but also what the triggers and barriers to purchase are and how these might be overcome in order to see growth in purchasing."

One thing to bear in mind is that most vegetables are seasonal, which may have affected the results (i.e. -- while it's usually possible to buy a vegetable all year round, some consumers prefer to hold off until it is freshly in season).

Which vegetable do you buy more than all the others? Did any of the top ten biggest sellers surprise you? Let us know in the comments section below.

See also: Juicehacker: Why I Am Going On A Juice Fast | What Types Of Bacteria Live On Your Fruits And Vegies?


    Not a fan of carrot at all -- have never bought them. Do like broccoli and cauliflower, though. And capsicum. Guess tomato doesn't count as a vegetable because "everyone knows" it's a fruit? I buy a lot of tomato, too.

      'Vegetable' is a culinary term. Science makes no distinction between different fruits. So what you say about tomatoes is true of all vegetables.

        So all vegetables are fruits? No. Fruits are essentially the ovaries of the plant, and contain the seeds. Vegetable refers to any other part of the plant. According to this definition, it's odd that they left out tomatoes because they shouldn't have included capsicum or zucchini either since these are technically also fruit.

          Wow you make it sound so appetising... "Hmm, I feel like a snack, I'll have some plant ovaries!" ;)

          Vegetable is a culinary term
          Its definition has no scientific value and is somewhat arbitrary and subjective.
          All parts of herbaceous plants eaten as food by humans, whole or in part, are generally considered vegetables.
          Since "vegetable" is not a botanical term, there is no contradiction in referring to a plant part as a fruit while also being considered a vegetable.

          Given this general rule of thumb, vegetables can include leaves (lettuce), stems (asparagus), roots (carrots), flowers (broccoli), bulbs (garlic), seeds (peas and beans) and of course the botanical fruits like cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, and capsicums.

    is there a link, or is it behind a pay-wall? I'd be interested to see what sort of poll it was, i.e. was it people standing out the front of supermarkets asking people to look through their fruit and veg they had in their baskets, or just a poll. I say this because I find it interesting about the white/brown onion thing. I wonder if a lot of people call brown onions as "white" onions. It's also tricky because of different varieties. I.e. why are potatoes and capsicums all lumped into a single category, but white/brown/red onions have separate categories (I know that this is a slippery slope as do you count shallots, spring onions, leeks etc. in the 'onions' category, but I'd say that onions would be higher up the list if you counted red, white and brown onions all together, which some people use interchangeably, well white and brown at least)

    I lived on a diet of carrots, onion, tomato, meat, curry, and pasta. Occasionally I would diversify with tuna or fast food. That was totally unbalanced and purely out of convenience/laziness, I know... I assume most people aren't foodies and don't really have a diverse diet either. Carrots are just convenient and can go in everything, even taste good raw.

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