Aussies miss out on vital nutrients from fresh produce as eating habits move towards pantry staples

Tuesday 07 April 2020 Australian shoppers are being warned not to forget about fresh food, as shopping habits shift towards long-life pantry staples over fresh produce.

OneHarvest, which supplies national supermarkets Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and Metcash with baby spinach and leafy salad mixes, has reported sales declines across the category in recent weeks, due to a shift in purchasing behaviours in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.

At a time when supporting the immune system is most vital, dark leafy greens such as fresh spinach leaves can provide Australians with vitamin C, A, K and B2, folate, calcium, magnesium, manganese and iron.

Lorraine Gaffney APD, senior dietitian at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital, explains ‘it’s more important than ever to ensure a balanced diet rich in dark leafy greens, fresh fruits and vegetables.

‘Whole foods that are as close to the source as possible are the ones that will best support the immune system. Foods that contain vitamin C, zinc, magnesium and prebiotics are ideal, and baby spinach ticks all of these boxes’ she said.

Australian lettuce growers across Victoria’s Gippsland and Queensland’s Lockyer Valley are facing a double blow as foodservice sales diminish in light of the hospitality shutdowns.

Nelson Cox from Riviera Farms in Lindenow, Gippsland states ‘We have an abundance of baby spinach and mixed lettuce leaves that are ready to be picked, and a bunch of Aussies in need of a robust immune system. Now, more than ever, is the time for people to be eating spinach!’

OneHarvest managing director Sam Robson explains, ‘our farmers have been through drought, bushfires and now the Coronavirus. We are calling on Australians to show their support and remember that when it comes to the immune system, fresh is best,’ he said.

Easy ways to incorporate baby spinach into the diet include:

  • Sneak spinach into spag bol sauces, curries, soups and stews for an extra nutrient boost
  • Make two spinach and ricotta quiches, one for now and one to freeze for later
  • Try to incorporate a side salad with every meal, or better still, make the salad the main event
  • Add leafy greens to meals heavy in processed carbohydrates to improve the nutritional profile of the meal
  • Add a handful of baby spinach to morning juices and smoothies

The bagged lettuce that OneHarvest supplies to supermarkets has been machine-harvested, packed and sealed to ensure a safe product.

OneHarvest is a multi-generational family business that was born out of Queensland’s Ipswich markets. For further information visit


Courtney Chapman   |   Grapevine PR   |   |   0419 883 208   |  03 9521 2784