Vegetables are part of the cultural conversation now more than ever before. They are in the spotlight every day, from 2011 being declared as the Year of the Vegetable to the USDA’s recent call for America to fill half their plates with vegetables and fruit. However, the reality is that only six percent of the population meets the daily goal for vegetables.
Vegetables are part of the cultural conversation now more than ever before. They are in the spotlight every day, from 2011 being declared as the “Year of the Vegetable” to the USDA’s recent call for America to fill half their plates with vegetables and fruit. However, the reality is that only six percent of the population meets the daily goal for vegetables.
Now, Birds Eye – an international brand of frozen and fresh foods owned by Pinnacle Foods in North America – is focusing on making veggies accessible and enjoyable to everyone. The goal of the Birds Eye campaign is to take the wonder of veggies and unlock it in a way that makes it meaningful and part of life every day for people, 365 days a year.
“Now is the time – especially for the good of our next generation – for us to shift the perception that vegetables are second to other foods. We aim to help consumers discover the wonder of vegetables through offering delicious ways to help nourish kids and families anytime, anywhere, as well as collaborating with industry experts and charity partners,” says Rodrigo Trino, Vice President of Marketing for Birds Eye.
For example, through their partnership with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign, a national effort to help end childhood hunger in America by 2015, Birds Eye announced their Feed Kids Better campaign last fall – a start to a long term commitment to connect people with nutritious food and inspire a new generation of vegetable lovers. And they continue to build on the Feed Kids Better campaign through collaboration with Dr. Brian Wansink, one of the nation’s leading experts in eating behaviors and food psychology. Together with Wansink, Birds Eye is launching the “Wonder of Vegetables” research study, which will aim to discover new strategies to increase kids’ desire to both eat and enjoy more vegetables. In addition, to celebrate and reward those who have made a commitment to sharing the wonder of vegetables in their local communities, Birds Eye just announced a “Share the Wonder” grant program.
“Through all of these programs we will help unlock the beautiful, delicious world of vegetables, no matter the time, no matter the place, no matter the season. We want more people – especially kids – to enjoy more vegetables every day. As a leader in vegetables, we are putting a stake in the ground with the ‘Wonder of Vegetables’ campaign that we stand for a veggie-rich diet that is exciting, tasty and easy to enjoy,” says Trino.
Trino says that it’s an accepted fact that veggies are wonderful, but they don’t have a very good reputation when it comes to convenience, ease, cost and taste. Birds Eye wants to help lead the way to help change the perception from duty (“I need to get my vegetable servings today” and “I don’t have enough time or resources”) to desire (“I love my vegetables because they taste delicious and are easy to prepare, serve and enjoy”). By offering more than 40 unique vegetables and countless ways to enjoy them, from pure and simple vegetables and steamed varieties, to veggie focused recipes and complete vegetable rich meals, Trino says that Birds Eye is uniquely qualified to shift this dialogue.
“The more people are spreading the good news about vegetables, the better! We’ve already seen some very inspirational and innovative organizations doing great things to inspire better kids’ nutrition. In fact, we recently selected The Food Trust in Philadelphia as our first grant recipient. The Food Trust is a nonprofit and community partner of Share Our Strength that works to improve access to healthy, affordable food and to educate children and families about nutrition,” says Trino.
Trino says retailers can help by promoting vegetables as a center-of-the-plate star and something that is worthy of praise through inspiration and education. This could be done through a variety of different efforts – such as in-store demonstrations or cooking classes for kids – to help them discover the wonder of vegetables. The USDA’s recent announcement of the MyPlate icon will help make the case for vegetables as well. Now that Americans are being encouraged to fill half their plate with vegetables and fruits, says Trino, significant, positive change could really start to take place.
“These types of changes can make a powerful difference in overall health and weight,” he says. “We do know that vegetables are good for us – but there are a lot of perceived barriers to getting vegetables daily. We want to shake up old habits and get people to discover a habit they can be happy about – the wonder of great tasting vegetables.”