Fresh and ready-to-cook vegetables. This is what the veg-on-wheels intervention offered to urban Nigerian consumers. In this joint research project of Wageningen Economic Research and the Federal University of Technology Akure (Nigeria), the ready-to-cook green leafy vegetables were sold in cool boxes on bikes and push carts. This way the vegetables could stay fresh and could be sold at convenient locations close to work places.
Despite its health benefits and potential to decrease micro-nutrient deficiencies, vegetable consumption is low in urban Nigeria. Vegetables are generally considered as healthy and health is a main motive for consumption. At the same time, consumers experience constraints in preparing vegetables. The main barriers are convenience, especially the time to prepare the meal, and the availability of vegetables. Vegetables are usually bought fresh on open markets but availability and freshness diminish by the end of the day. Veg-on-wheels reduces barriers in several ways:
- Preparation time is reduced by offering the vegetables cleaned from dirt and weeds, washed, and cut.
- Travel time and costs to purchase vegetables are reduced by selling close to work places.
- By keeping vegetables cool, they can be sold throughout the day.
To investigate if veg-on-wheels increases intake, eighthundred consumers were interviewed prior to the intervention. Now, after five weeks of selling they are being interviewed again to study the effects of the intervention. We are looking at sales and vegetables intake, and investigating barriers and perceptions of vegetables consumption behaviour.