Published: 4th December 2018
Consumers historically had the choice to prepare fresh vegetables or pickup frozen vegetables from the freezer aisle. In 2018 the growing trend by Coles own brand is packed prepared vegetables in a range of functional packaging. Removing the need to wash and prepare vegetables when preparing meals.
Coles vegetable steam mix ($25/kg) available in a range of different vegetables mix with garlic butter in a microwaveable plastic tub. Simply place in the microwave for steamed vegetables then add to your meal for an instant accompaniment. This is not a new concept as Birds Eye has a range of SteamFresh ($5.33/kg) frozen vegetable mix in individual steam bags. Although frozen or fresh vegetables provide the same nutritional value the Coles preparation of vegetables resemble homemade (random chunky cuts) were Birds Eye has the typical frozen vegetable appearance.
Also available in a microwavable pouch is Coles Australian Sweet Potato Noodles ($12/kg) for an easy addition to a meal. Also other easy addition vegetables to add to a meal are Coles Superfood Stir Fry Mix ($13.33/kg) washed and ready to cook.
Keeping on trend, packaged prepared and value added fresh vegetable are also available in the same location. Coles Sweet Potato Chips ($8/kg) washed and ready to cook provides convenience and flexibility to season to own tastes compared to frozen varieties which are similar priced. Another prepared product which has been valued added is Coles Mexican Style Street Corn ($12.50/kg). It is cut and husked corn with Chipotle sauce and cheese.
Plastic reduction becomes increasingly important for consumers as the two major retails Coles and Woolworths no longer provide free plastic bags at the checkout. The need to package fresh vegetables in plastic for convenience has been met with heavy resistance given the fresh item is sitting on the shelf nearby. Manufactures need to find the balance in packaging design between value added and providing functional packaging.
In summary the segment of convenience vegetables set to grow and expand as retailers are starting to move beyond cutting vegetables or grouping together and wrapping in plastic. Advancements in packaging is helping to shape this segment to steam cook and heat via a microwave. Currently dominated by the Coles home brand expect to see this segment grow and branded manufactures moving into the space.