FoodMinds recently attended the annual Consumer Connection conference hosted by client Produce for Better Health (PBH) in Scottsdale, Arizona. This conference is an opportunity for produce industry marketers, food system thought leaders and consumer influencers to unite to elevate fruit and vegetable consumption to a national priority. Here are the top five trends and takeaways from our Stakeholder & Influencer 2.0 team on how food and beverage companies can inspire increased fruit and vegetable consumption for healthier, happier lives.
Hacks Lead to Habits: Closing the fruit and vegetable consumption gap will require building a system of habits spanning different stages of someone’s fruit and/or vegetable consumption journey — from planning and purchasing to eating and enjoying. And we also know from PBH’s latest research that people who learn new fruit and vegetable hacks are more likely to “do” them. Nutrition professionals, as well as the broader fruit and vegetable industry, can support Americans in building this system by encouraging actions that build upon existing routines. For example, pairing fruits and vegetables with foods someone already knows and enjoys (e.g., hot/cold cereals with fruit, salads with burgers and sandwiches with vegetables) or incorporating greater consumption of fruit and vegetables during mealtime routines (fruit is consumed most frequently at breakfast and vegetables at lunch and dinner).
Culturally Inclusive Communications Drive Demand: Effective consumer education and engagement must lean into how people feel about eating fruits and vegetables. Companies can no longer take a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing consumer goods and services; diverse perspectives must be incorporated when building partnerships and campaigns.
The Food Is Medicine Movement is Gaining Momentum: Non-profit and research institutions are core leaders building produce (PRx) programs addressing food insecurity and health disparities in underserved communities. From a public health standpoint, referring patients to Food is Medicine interventions can improve their ability to follow dietary recommendations, tackling several barriers to healthy eating, including the inability to afford or access recommended foods.
Mental Health Needs to be Prioritized in Agriculture: Generating awareness for the topic of mental health from an agricultural perspective is of increasing importance. It is critical to make a connection between stress faced by those producing food and those creating the nutritional recommendations for their products; and promoting the adoption of proactive (versus reactive) habits (nutrition, physical activity, mindfulness) to positively impact mental wellbeing.
TikTok Is Here to Stay: Viral TikTok food trends have a profound influence on consumer food trends – think Baked Feta Pasta with Grapes Tomatoes and Green Goddess Salad. Hopping on these trends and adding a fresh spin can provide registered dietitians, produce industry leaders, growers, retail and foodservice professionals, and health and lifestyle influencers with a unique opportunity to tell their story and ultimately promote more fruit and vegetable consumption.
Interested in connecting with advocates who are setting these trends? FoodMinds’ Stakeholder & Influencer 2.0 team leverages our unique ability to identify and forge relationships in emerging categories, while helping clients effectively navigate a complex and ever-evolving food and nutrition landscape. Connect with us to learn more.
Chelsea Elkin, MS, RD is a Senior Director at FoodMinds, a division of Padilla. She leads the Stakeholder & Influencer 2.0 team.
Katie Hill is a Senior Account Executive in Padilla’s Food & Beverage practice. She is an expert in social media and nutrition influencer communications.