Millennials are making their impact on society. When it comes to vegetable consumption, they are setting the trend to eat healthily. In the recent study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, they have found out that millennials prefer to eat more fruits and vegetables over meats and grains. The study analyzed food buying data per generation. Millennials, who are born between 1981 and mid-2000s, are the largest and most diverse generation. They have the highest purchasing behavior, which is why they influence the consumer and retail landscape. Many companies are designing their products with millennials in mind.
More Millennials Are Eating More Fresh Produce
According to the report, the consumption of fresh produce in the country grew at 1.3% between the years 2011 and 2016. It is also expected that the annual gains will continue to rise through 2021 and probably the years beyond. What influenced this trend is that the eating habits of different generations have evolved. The changes are altering the recommendations on what makes up a healthy diet. The current nutritional guideline dictates that people should dedicate half of their plate to fruits and vegetables. They should also include whole grains, dairy, and protein for each meal.
The Benefits of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
Consuming more fruits and vegetables can help protect the body against different diseases – particularly the chronic ones. These include Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and some types of cancer. Moreover, fruits and vegetables are also jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes that can help improve the physiological functions and capacity of people when it comes to fighting off different kinds of diseases.
How to Encourage More People to Eat Their Veggies?
The results of the study indicate that people are becoming more aware of the health benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables. But aside from increasing awareness, the trend can be further improved if more people have access to fresh produce. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to convince people to consume more fruits and vegetables is to make them available in places where adults and children live, work, and learn.
The Role of the Agricultural Industry
Another solution is to develop products that are more exciting and fun to eat. For instance, the company Syngenta is currently developing ultra-firm watermelons called CrispFresh watermelons. This innovative variety does not only taste great, but it also makes the processing and shelf-life longer. And since the watermelon is crisp, it is now possible to make watermelon fries with it. The agricultural sector plays a vital role in innovating crops not only to produce higher yields but also to ensure that the product will last longer so that people who live in food deserts can access them at a lower price.
With the influential role of millennials, coupled with the dedication of the agricultural sector to increase their yield, it is likely that the trend will increase in the years to follow. This can eventually create a paradigm shift wherein people will consume more fruits and vegetables. By doing so, it also helps the economy as it reduces the cost of the government to fund for the provision of healthcare services on lifestyle diseases.
Packaged food brands are also taking another approach to help consumers get the natural benefits of fruits and vegetables in everyday products. They are using GrandFusion fruit and vegetable powders to enrich their bars, protein powders, and more with the natural vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. Download the R&D kit below to learn more!
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