News

2011-07-10 23:00
PR Newswire

A recent Meijer fruits and vegetables survey reveals that nearly six out of 10 adults feel they aren’t eating enough produce even though they clearly understand how much should be consumed on a daily basis. Approximately 1,300 Midwesterners were surveyed. Nearly half of the survey respondents (48%) said their kids eat more fruit than other children and a little more than one-third of respondents (36%) felt their kids eat more vegetables in comparison to other children.

People know they should eat vegetables but perceive them as expensive to purchase and difficult to prepare. Consuming at least five cups of fruits and vegetables per day can significantly reduce your risk of getting sick. Roughly one-third (35%) of survey respondents said their kids eat about the same fruit amount as other children and thirteen percent felt their kids eat less fruit than other kids. Four out of then felt their kids ate about the same amount of vegetables as other children and twenty percent said their children ate fewer vegetables than other kids. Sixty-four percent correctly identified the amount of daily recommended fruit servings compared to 70 percent stating the correct amount of daily vegetable intake.

2011-06-14 23:00
Prepared Foods

According to Prepared Foods, more natural ingredients, reduce-calorie versions and allergy restrictions are standing as the primary trends that currently drive product innovation.

From 2008-2010, gluten-free products have grown by approximately 116.7% in dressings and vinegar. Gluten-free showed the most robust growth among dressing claims, followed by low/no-/reduced-allergen, low-/no-reduced-calorie, and no additives or preservatives.

Dietary and health considerations are generally linked to the salad category, but the decline of low-/no-/reduced-calorie claims likely reflects the fact that taste can be an issue, or consumers are finally warming up to the idea of "good fats" associated with olive oils or avocados, for example. Mustard, garlic and Caesar were ranked as the top three flavors.

Kosher, vegetarian and premium products have also grown, while organic products have declined between 2008 and 2010. Ethnic sauces experienced steady increases and are expected to experience continued growth. Meat sauces were among the fastest growing segment, fueled by the successful performance of barbecue sauces. The most important health claims to consumers are "MSG-free" and "low-sodium or "sodium free".

2011-06-14 23:00
USA Today

As published in USA Today, power salads are getting their day in the spotlight as more cookbooks, magazines and restaurants feature combinations of nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, lean protein, nuts and other healthful foods.

Most people consume less than two cups of vegetables and fruit a day, far below the recommended four or more cups, a recent study showed. Salads are an excellent way to help you meet your daily recommendations for fruits and vegetables.

When you are creating a power salad, you want to see as many colors of the rainbow as possible on your plate. You also should include at least three ounces of lean protein such as chicken breast, beans, salmon or eggs. Your salad doesn’t have to have lettuce as the base. Try cooked vegetables or grains.

The article also included some negative comments about the flavor and nutrition content of salad dressing. ADS staff sent a Truth Squad letter to the reporter and two experts quoted within the article correcting misinformation and encouraging them to use ADS a resource for all things condiment-related.

2011-06-14 23:00
U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Information Bulletin

As written in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Information Bulletin, federal dietary guidance advises Americans to consume more vegetables and fruits because most Americans do not consume the recommended quantities or variety. Food prices, along with taste, convenience, income and awareness of the link between diet and health, shape food choices.

The USDA's research used the 2008 Nielsen Homescan data to estimate the average price at retail stores of a pound and an edible cup equivalent (or, for juices, a pint and an edible cup equivalent) of 153 commonly consumed fresh and processed fruits and vegetables.

According the research, average prices ranged from less than 20 cents per edible cup equivalent to more than $2 per edible cup equivalent. In 2008, an adult on a 2,000 calorie diet could satisfy recommendations for vegetable and fruit consumption in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (amounts and variety) at an average price of $2 per day, or approximately 50 cents per edible cup equivalent.

The lowest average price for any of the 59 fresh and processed fruits included in the study was for fresh watermelon and the highest average price was for fresh raspberries. The lowest average price for any of the 94 fresh and processed vegetables, beans and peas included in the study was for dry pinto beans and the highest average price was for frozen asparagus cuts and tips.

Processed fruits and vegetables were not consistently more or less expensive than fresh produce. Retail prices per pound often varied substantially from prices per edible cup equivalent.

2011-06-14 23:00
Bay Citizen

According to a January 2011 Bay Citizen article, San Francisco is always a foodie town and there is one must-attend food event every year: The Fancy Food Show at Moscone Center. More than 1,300 exhibitors from 50 different countries attend to exhibit unique treats such as bacon marshmallows.

Below is a list of 2011's oddest trends:

Chipotle and habanero peppers: including in everything from miso to mayo to artisanal candies. As people bite down into hot peppers in unexpected places, this trend gives "hot chocolate" a whole new meaning.

Goat's milk: used in cheese, kefir (beverage made from fermented milk) and caramels. It's lower in lactose than cow's milk, and better for sensitive stomachs. However, because it is pungent and musky, it's an acquired taste that keeps the eater aware of the milk's origins.

Sweet potatoes: they're rich in complex carbs, dietary fiber, beta carotene, and vitamins A, C, and B6. (Vitamin B6 can benefit the body's immune and cardiovascular systems.) Besides their use in pies, they were also used in puffs, crackers, fries and chocolate truffles.

Nostalgia: when it comes to food, memory often overrides all other factors. There was an abundance of marshmallows, chocolate-flavored peanut butters and more.

Coconut water: this is not the same as opaque coconut milk or coconut cream, rather it is the fat-free, fresh-tasting and crystal-clear liquid found inside green young coconuts. In warm climates, street vendors slice off the tops and sell the bottoms with coconut water inside and a straw.

Other oddball items include: olive-oil gelato, haggis-flavored potato chips, and wasabi-infused cheddar cheese. Also check out jade-green moroheiya noodle, calcium-packed black chia-seed butter and tangy hemp-oil vinaigrette.

2011-05-26 23:00
Prepared Foods

Information from past Prepared Foods’ R&D Application Seminars presented information on consumer trends and how flavorings could play a role from beverage formulations to sodium reduction to masking and enhancing flavor. Though sodium is vital, it has been linked to serious health problems including hypertension, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and more. Despite the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommending sodium reduction, salt is not easy to replace in food systems. However, there are a number of approaches to reducing sodium in food products.

If the reduction of sodium is less than 10%, most people do not notice a difference. Salt preference is a learned behavior, and if a person reduces the sodium in their food, that reduction becomes the new normal.

For sodium reductions greater than 10%, flavor extractors and enhancers must be used. Yeast extracts, hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, trehalose, certain amino acids, herbs and spices and maillard reaction products in low concentration can all help enhance the perception of saltiness.

Other ideas include increasing the food aroma; replacing sodium with ions that are similar in size such as calcium, magnesium, or potassium; or using sea salt.

2011-04-26 23:00
Jacqueline Petty, APR

Eating a salad every day with your favorite salad dressing is an easy way to add valuable nutrients to your diet – nutrients that promote good health and may ward off disease. Visit www.saladaday.org to find creative salad recipes and learn the health benefits of eating salads with your favorite dressing. You will find salad recipes with chicken, salad recipes with pasta and vegetable salads, all with great salad dressing recommendations.

Salad eaters tend to have higher intakes of key nutrients, such as Vitamins C and E and folate. The healthy oils found in salad dressings help to promote the absorption of key nutrients, including many important antioxidants that are found in leafy greens and other vegetables and fruits. In addition, the majority of salad dressings are free of trans fat.

What's the key to a healthy salad? According to Sarah Wally, M.S., R.D., "The nutritional value of your salad depends on what ingredients you choose." Selecting a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables for salads ensures you're eating a wide range of beneficial nutrients.

Saladaday.org is a program of The Association for Dressings and Sauces (ADS), the international trade association that represents salad dressing, mayonnaise and condiment sauce manufacturers and suppliers to the industry. Since 1992, ADS has celebrated May as National Salad Month.

About The Association for Dressings and Sauces

The Association for Dressings and Sauces (ADS) is an international trade association representing salad dressing, mayonnaise and condiment sauce manufacturers and suppliers to the industry. ADS is managed by the Kellen Company (www.kellencompany.com), a leading global professional services company. Visit www.dressings-sauces.org to learn more about the nutritional benefits of salads and salad dressings, and to obtain numerous salad recipes as well as a copy of the brochure, "The Good News About Salad Dressings and Sauces." For more information about the health aspects of fresh vegetable and salad dressing consumption and related research, visit www.saladaday.org.

2010-09-12 23:00
Progressive Grocer

According to foodchannel.com editors, these are the current top 10 snack trends:

  1. Chip and Dip 2.0. New varieties and new flavors give us something different. It is likely that you will have hummus and falafel chips or pretzel crisps at your next party instead of the traditional chip-and-dip duo. The dips are healthier, spicier, and often served hot.
     
  2. Small and Sensational. People are eating more substantial snacks packed with protein as meal replacements, and eating them more often. For pick-me-ups, folks grab a slider at Steak ’n Shake or a Big Mac Wrap at McDonald’s. Come dinnertime, people may graze some more, but by today’s definition, snacks may be all we need
     
  3. The Drink Shift. This trend is all about the “halo of health” around drinks made with fruit or antioxidants. There’s a shift in snack beverages away from colas and energy drinks and more toward teas, lemonades, fruity organic waters and carbonated fruit drinks with interesting flavor combinations. Plus, there’s the trend away from high-fructose corn syrup and back to sugar that some soft-drink makers are spinning as a “throwback” move>
     
  4. Goin’ Nuts. Snacking habits are adjusting to talk about how good nuts are for you, with nuts and granola, nuts and fruits and smoked nuts. Unique flavor combinations offer the feeling of eating healthily: for example, cashews with pomegranate and vanilla, and dark chocolate with caramelized black walnuts
     
  5. Fruits: The Low-Hanging Snack. The trend here is the mainstreaming of new types of fruit, and the redefinition of locally grown to mean locally sourced. When it comes to fresh, blackberries have been in abundance, and white peaches and white cherries have given us a choice when it comes to some old standards. Fresh fruit is now the No. 1 snack among kids age 2 to 17.
  6. Cruising the Bars. While it is mainstream that the granola bar is an acceptable emergency meal, bars are now offered in dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, organic, soy-free, cholesterol-free, and trans fat-free varieties. There are even versions specifically for women and for kids.
     
  7. Sweet and Salty. Until recent years, the only way sweet or salty snacks mixed was when we ate something sweet then craved something salty, or vice-versa. What we’re seeing now is that the barrier is removed. We dip pretzels in Nutella and eat fruit with a side of popcorn. These tastes are filling up the new-style vending machines too, where our choices are increasing and more information is available
     
  8. Yogurt, Redefined. The new gold standard for yogurt is the increased health value found with probiotics. Acknowledging our trend toward global flavors, there is Greek yogurt, among the healthiest snacks we can eat. Icelandic yogurt is starting to emerge as yet another world player and new self-serve frozen yogurt shops are popping up everywhere too. Although not new, yogurt continues to redefine itself and is definitely trending up  
  9. Bodaciously Bold. Bold flavors are almost becoming regular, satisfying an urge for something unordinary. How else to explain flavors such as Doritos First-, Second- and Third-Degree Burn (Scorchin’ Habanero)?
  10. Nostalgia’s New Again. Any decent tribute to snacking has to mention the traditional snack cake. The Hostess Twinkie, the Ding Dong, the TastyKake, the Little Debbie. Anything that has lasted this long deserves a mention in the snacking hall of fame, even if it isn’t good for you. And, truth be told, we all snack on some of these from time to time.
2010-08-31 23:00
USA Today

USA Today indicates that nationally, the percentage of adults who eat fruit twice a day or more was just 32.5% in 2009, down from 34.4% in 2000. The percentage who eat vegetables three or more times a day remained relatively the same: 26.3% in 2009, down just a fraction from 26.7% in 2000

According to the article, no state met the government target that aimed to have 75% of adults consuming two or more fruit servings a day and 50% consuming three or more vegetable servings a day. That goal was spelled out in a report called Healthy People 2010 by the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.

The CDC used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a national state-by-state telephone survey, to assess each state's consumption, says Jennifer Foltz, co-author of the new report.

"Historically, nutrition campaigns have been social marketing campaigns targeting individuals," says Lilian Cheung of the Harvard School of Public Health. "This is not enough — we need to create an environment that supports healthy eating."

Cheryl Anderson, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says programs should include cooking and tasting sessions, perhaps at supermarkets, to familiarize people with new fruits and vegetables before asking them to spend part of their limited budget on them.

2010-08-23 23:00
Adweek

In The Hartman Group’s polling, when consumers were asked about how they define wellness, 67 percent of respondents included "not being ill." Just as many cited "being able to deal with stress." And even more included "being physically fit" (73 percent) and "feeling good about myself" (74 percent) in their definition of wellness.

The article asks if consumers define wellness more broadly and if it makes the concept too vague to be a useful sales point for marketers of wellness-related products and services. And does this make it more difficult for brands that are seriously focused on wellness to distinguish themselves from those that have merely latched onto some of the rhetoric of wellness?

"While the notion of quality of life is very broad, consumers still look to markers of quality on a category-by-category basis, as they determine whether or not the product or service is authentic and can play a role in their wellness toolkit," responds Shelley Balanko, The Hartman Group. "Consumers are becoming more attuned to authenticity cues to discern the 'real' from the 'fake.' Authenticity is communicated through compelling product/company narratives with products containing whole, real and clean ingredients created by knowledgeable people who genuinely care."

'Fresh, Real and Clean Food’

The article states that consumers understand the source of wellness largely as a matter of "you are what you eat." As the report states, more than ever, consumers view fresh, real and clean food as the foundation for health and wellness. In part, this interest takes the form of shunning things that are bad for you. In fact the top ingredients that consumers are avoiding are related to cardiovascular health: cholesterol, saturated fat, trans fat and salt.

The survey asked respondents to say how they would describe themselves based on a number of statements about shopping for food and beverages.

Findings:

  • Twenty-nine percent said they're described by "I look for foods and beverages that are good for my heart."
  • Twenty-seven percent said the same about looking for foods/beverages "with added vitamins and minerals (e.g., orange juice with calcium)."
  • Also garnering sizable "describes me well" votes from the survey's respondents were shopping for foods/beverages "that help lower my cholesterol" (24 percent), "that are minimally processed" (21 percent), "that are locally grown or produced" (20 percent) and "that contain only ingredients I recognize" (19 percent).
  • Fewer (11 percent) said they're described by "I look for foods and beverages that are labeled 'organic.'"

According to the article, while organic is still a quality cue, other cues have emerged as indicators of high-quality experiences/products. To be ahead of the curve, marketers need to communicate around the trend-leading quality cues, real and clean.

Preventing vs. Treating

The report emphasizes that consumers are more apt to see foods as useful in preventing than in treating health problems.

Findings:

  • 56 percent said they're using foods to prevent high cholesterol, vs. 30 percent using foods to treat it.
  • Respondents were much more apt to be using foods to prevent than to treat cancer (46 percent vs. 10 percent), high blood pressure (41 percent vs. 15 percent) and osteoporosis (27 percent vs. 10 percent).
  • Excessive weight is an exception to this pattern, as nearly equal numbers of respondents said they're using foods to prevent it (57 percent) or treat it (59 percent).

     

The report says "interest in Vitamin D has exploded" this year. According to the article, it's a reflection of what can happen when consumers hear about something "from multiple sources" -- a phenomenon that can transform mild interest into specific action

Vitamin D has been a focus in mainstream media in the past year. People have been hearing about it on Oprah, or at the supermarket checkout, or from a friend or colleague. The survey shows that 60 percent of respondents said they're adding more Vitamin D to their diets

Degrees Of Intensity

Of course, while interest in health and wellness is widespread, it's not universally strong. Based on respondents' answers to the survey, the report classified respondents into "Core" participants, "Mid-level" participants, "Inner Mid-level" participants and "Outer Mid-level" participants in their wellness engagement. The groups differ significantly when it comes to translating intention into action. As the report puts it, "Consumers in the Periphery and Outer Mid-level tend to have more wellness aspirations than behaviors." Those in the Inner Mid-level "engage in wellness more behaviorally and less aspirationally," while the "Core consumers' participation in wellness is almost entirely behavioral.

'Marinating' in Information

Does misplaced faith in their nutrition-and-wellness savvy make lots of consumers a tougher audience for the messages of brands that are serious about wellness? The article indicates consumers have been marinating in health-and-wellness information for the past decade. Unfortunately, a lot of this information has been contradictory. Unless Core, consumers are confused by all the information available, and are resorting to intuition and pragmatism to determine what products will serve their needs. Marketers need not cut through ignorance, but rather emphasize their products' differentiators and authenticity.

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