We have all been told since we were children to make sure we get enough servings of fruits and vegetables. However, the average American only consumes .9 cups of fruit and 1.4 cups of vegetables daily which is much lower than the USDA’s recommended 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables per day. As produce industry marketers, we see this as a problem that needs to be solved with strategic marketing solutions. The question becomes, how can we encourage consumers to eat more produce?
According to Produce for Health’s “State of the Plate” webinar, a key way to encourage consumers to buy more produce is to shift their thought process. Some ways that companies can do this is by becoming relevant to older consumers who are often not targeted by produce companies, extend partnerships with other food brands, and to make changes to home dining opportunities.
There are different ways that produce brands can become more relevant to those who are dining at home due to the pandemic. Consumers want to change things up in the kitchen and many have added more plant-based alternatives to their diet. In addition to adding those alternatives, we also suggest making them more aware of plant-forward eating. With so much time stuck inside and worried about health, consumers are thinking more about wellness and the food they consume. By promoting the health factors that go into consuming more fruits and vegetables (such as lower sugar, less calories, more nutrient-dense) we can begin to change their mindset of what a meal should be.
In addition to those ideas, we recommend that produce companies and retailers create educational graphics about the vitamins in each fruit or vegetable, plant-forward recipes, and even calorie counters in recipes that are listed on produce and grocery market websites. If we can change the thought process of consumers by becoming more relevant in their daily lives, then we should see an increase in produce consumption through 2021.