Celebrating Fresh Produce Leading the way in Healthy Eating Week
Fresh Produce Taking Centre Stage
We all know the nutritional and health benefits of eating fresh produce and leading a healthier lifestyle. However, we also know that we don’t always do what we should do! Hands up, who is guilty of indulging in more (too much) wine, chocolate and junk food over lockdown!
Though according to a British Nutrition Foundation survey, a third of Brits are now ‘eating more fruit and veg’ over the past year, in a quest to get and be healthier. The survey indicates that 62% of Britons have made changes to their diet, and 33% included more fruit and veg in their diets. There’s also been a change in cooking habits with an increase in ‘from-scratch’ cooking as people experiment cooking with fresh ingredients
This is great news, not only for the health of the nation, but also for our fresh produce clients and suppliers too. Although they’ve had a busy and bumpy ride along the way!
Many have experienced delays to their growing seasons due to the weather and late arrival of spring, resulting now in a bumper season and having a glut of fresh produce to process. They’ve had to deal with the massive issues and implications of a pandemic, along with navigating their way through and around Brexit, and the impact this has had on supply, staffing, haulage drivers, imports and exports, legislation etc. Yet they’ve still delivered, and achieved growth.
All food industry suppliers have been super busy. They’ve played such an important role in keeping the major retailer supermarkets fully stocked with goods and fresh produce over lockdown. In a period when demand went up and the logistics and organisation of it all became so much harder overnight, they’ve done such a fantastic job in keeping the nation in supply of fresh food and well fed.
This is reflected in the growth that many fresh produce categories have seen over the period, for example with the increases in vegetable sales boosted by lockdown, along with the berry category seeing huge growth.
The growth in consumption of fresh produce during lockdown is partly due to a change and increase in from scratch cooking, plus a greater awareness of the need to eat healthier and Brits embracing a more sustainable diet. There’s also been an array of TV programmes over lockdown about food production, food waste, cooking from scratch, cooking and baking competition shows, chefs demonstrating their talents with a number of cooking shows using all sorts of fresh produce, social media channels promoting healthier lifestyles, restaurants having to be more imaginative in their offerings and providing takeaway options, plus a massive increase of people growing their own fresh produce at home.
Overall, it seems that there’s a greater awareness and consciousness of where food comes from, the impact, seasonality and sustainability of growing, producing and supplying food. There’s also the health benefits of fresh produce, and also people embracing and showing willingness to try more and be more adventurous with their cookin.
As this week is the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) charity’s Healthy Eating Week (14-18th June 2021), it’s a great opportunity to not only promote and spread the healthy eating ‘Find Your Healthier You’ message, by encouraging people to consume more fresh produce, but also the perfect time to celebrate and promote the many fresh produce suppliers, working tirelessly around the clock to keep us in our deliciously perfect and wonky fruit and veg in these busy and challenging times.
Hats off and a round of applause to the food industry.
Cheers to fresh produce taking centre stage!
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