Making fruits and vegetables the default, offering strategic discounts, tracking food intake and highlighting healthy behavior can help boost consumers’ consumption of fruits and vegetables.

The Hockessin, Del.-based Produce For Better Health Foundation’s recently published literature review, “Behavior Economics and the Psychology of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: A PBH research reveals tips for increasing consumptionScientific Overview, 2012,” available on the PBH website, offers insight in four key areas:


  • Display and setting;
  • Incentive and price;
  • Planning and habit; and
  • Messaging.

This is the first time PBH has commissioned a review on this topic, said Elizabeth Pivonka, president and chief executive officer. The review offers links that summarize relevant findings for schools, policy makers, researchers, parents and marketers.

“We’re trying to make sure the industry knows about it so they can integrate relevant ideas into their own marketing efforts,” Pivonka said.

Some of the review’s suggestions include:


  • Make fruits and vegetables a default option, such as at a fast food establishment;
  • Increase prominence of fruits and vegetables in cafeterias, grocery stores and homes;
  • Increase variety of fruits and vegetables available;
  • Increase convenience of fruits and vegetables, such as single-serving snack options;
  • Offer strategic discounts;
  • Increase awareness of the low cost of fruits and vegetables, such as a “pennies-a-day” price frame;
  • Encourage children to snack only on fruits and vegetables while watching television;
  • Promote the “naturalness” of fruits and vegetables;
  • Associate with role models who consume fruits and vegetables;
  • Use strong, appealing branding.