Offering free fruit to kids in schools results in them eating more fruit and less junk. Find out how this could translate to selling more produce in your store.
Getting Americans to eat more produce is proving to be a very difficult task, education and availability have been the focus of many campaigns and for good reason, but the Lempert Report believes there might be a better way to increase consumption. There have been many studies suggesting the relationship between eating more produce and improving health, the most recent, a study published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, found that an estimated 20,000 cancers could be prevented if half of all Americans ate just one more serving of fruits and vegetables a day. One more serving! That’s just one apple or banana, or peach, or a half-cup of chopped fruit or raw crunchy veggies, or one cup of cooked greens.
A recent study in Norway, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition provided The Lempert Report with inspiration for an idea. The study looked at junk food consumption among kids in schools that provided free fruit, and found that junk food consumption decreased and fruit consumption increased. More specifically, kids who attended the free-fruit schools ate 2.8 fewer junk food snacks each week in 2008 than their counterparts in 2001.
Clearly offering free produce isn’t a viable option for retailers but sampling serving sized bunches or pieces of seasonal fruits and vegetables for customers to try at home either raw or cooked (with a simple recipe) could get Americans tasting more varieties of produce, experimenting with different cooking methods, and therefore eating and purchasing more.
Produce often isn’t backed with a big budget, or any budget for that matter, but some are (think avocados); retailers will have to commit to sampling more than they are used to, but if we all truly want to play our role in getting America back on track we all need to do our part – and it will pay off in the long run. Sample more to sell more!