The push for pre-cut veggies is affecting how shoppers perceive vegetable freshness, according to vegetable industry body AUSVEG.

The research, undertaken as part of the Project Harvest tracking study, suggests that the package formats developed for convenience and ease of use are also the formats which consumers expect to have the lowest shelf-life.

“We see these lesser expectations even for products which have had minimal processing, like pre-packed bags of carrots, which are expected to stop being fresh three days sooner than carrots sold individually – despite both products being whole carrots,” said AUSVEG national manager of communications Shaun Lindhe.

According to Lindhe, however, storage practices have more of an impact on the freshness of vegetables than whether or not they’ve been pre-chopped.

“There may be an association in consumers’ minds that makes them think that because they’re buying these products for more or less immediate use, they’re only going to stay fresh for that period of time,” Lindhe said.

“By following good storage habits both before and after their veggies have been chopped, consumers can make sure they get the most out of their purchases.”