"Fresh only" is a non-issue - The Packer

"Fresh only" is a non-issue

06/01/2009 08:32:52 AM
Tom Karst

    And I certainly don't want to mention value in these tough economic times (slipped again).

    In whatever healthy form they take, all produce, fruits, veggies, nuts and legumes are in the "good stuff" family. And we all need to consume more. It's a
universal truth.

    The produce industry and the government have the responsibility to figure out how to get consumers to eat more fruits and veggies, for both their own personal health and for the economic health of our country by helping to reduce the escalating cost of medical coverage.

    We've all read those statistics.

    Interestingly, we don't need to look far to find another food group working on a similar issue.

    Our friends in the dairy industry are finally plowing millions into advertising and promotion of the health benefits of milk -- something they overlooked for quite a few years while building awareness with their mustaches.

    They learned the hard way that celebrity-endorsed milk mustaches didn't move much more of their product. Now they have rediscovered and reinvented their health story, promoting milk as a nutrient-rich food that provides a healthy dose of nine essential nutrients.

    Good for them. They're doing a nice job delivering a great health message, and it's going to work.

    As part of the new Fruits & Veggies -- More Matters communication strategy, The Produce for Better Health Foundation is now pushing (as much as they can with their limited budget) that "all forms count" in the quest to help consumers reach their daily fruits and vegetables goal.

    All forms. So why would we even imply that frozen is second rate, in any fashion? This industry has a big job and a big responsibility to move everyone to eat more fruits and veggies, in as many ways and forms as makes sense for them to do so.

    Tom, I know you probably meant for someone to react to your "second rate and end of discussion" commentary. You knew someone would come to the defense of frozen fruit and veggies. I also know that I do not really need to list all the great attributes and benefits of our naturally colored fruits and veggies, in their frozen, protected, convenient and healthy state.

    Rather, I do need to re-emphasize the responsibility and the challenge the produce industry faces to figure out how to get people to buy more and eat more fruits and veggies.

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