When it comes to getting or staying healthy, it doesn’t hurt that we work in an industry where we are constantly surrounded by the epitome of health. “Fresh” and “produce” are two of the most important elements to achieve health and fitness success.
Here are four keys ways to stay on track with healthy eating in 2018—and four ways to remind consumers of all the ways fresh produce can help them keep their healthy resolutions.
Preparation is essential
We have all heard the saying “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Setting aside a few hours on Sunday afternoon to peel and cut carrots, wash and bag berries, or cook some healthy dishes that will nourish your family throughout the week is a great way to set your week up for success.
One of my favorite ways to prepare several days’ worth of healthy meals is to make a versatile veggie hash. Throughout the week, I can top the hash with an over easy egg for a quick, healthy breakfast; add some sliced avocado and hot sauce for an energizing mid-day snack, or pair it with grilled chicken or salmon for a filling and nutritious dinner.
Fresh merchandising idea #1: Offer fresh-cut and value-added products in your produce department. For time-starved consumers, it’s not always possible to slice, dice, and contain a fridge full of healthy grab-and-go options, but the value-added section of your produce department can deliver a great solution. Preparation and convenience go hand-in-hand, so set your customers up for success by offering pre-cut, pre-washed, ready-to-use fruits and vegetables. As produce departments and value-added sections expand, so do the opportunities to eat healthy, regardless of busy schedules.
Consistency drives healthy results
In achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, it is important to remember that weight loss is generally 75% diet and 25% exercise1. While exercise remains essential for weight control and a myriad of other health factors, it is obvious how important a consistent diet of fresh fruits and vegetables is to maintaining a healthy weight. When our bodies can rely on good stuff coming in regularly, its performance in every other area of life will be energized and optimized.
Fresh merchandising idea #2: Make sure your produce department is a well-stocked destination. When you offer a plentiful selection of high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables, your shoppers will be more inclined to purchase those healthy options—and keep returning for more.
Variety keeps it fresh
One secret to achieving consistency is by using healthy foods in a variety of ways. Changing preparation methods of fresh ingredients or recipes keeps mealtime interesting, and it makes us less likely to stray from our healthy ambitions. When it comes to variety, fresh produce delivers. Fruits and vegetables provide countless options in their natural forms, and today’s creative chefs, foodies, and home cooks have shared a whole slew of new ideas for old favorites. Shredding carrots, spiralizing zucchini, mashing sweet potatoes, ricing cauliflower, and hashing root vegetables are just a few of today’s trends that have breathed new life into produce and filled our diets with savory and sweet produce dishes.
Fresh merchandising idea #3: Post signs with preparation and usage ideas that encourage your shoppers to try fruits and vegetables in new ways.
Healthy living can be fun
It’s this variety and inspired creativity that make produce a fun way to make healthy choices. Even during a season of gatherings and indulgence, produce provides great ways to entertain and enjoy without missing the tasty flavors we desire.
For example, the recent avocado toast craze can be taken to a whole new level. Hosting a brunch for friends with an avocado toast bar allows guests to choose from a variety of fresh toppings to create their own delicious masterpiece—all while staying consistent with their healthy resolutions.
Fresh merchandising idea #4: Inspire your shoppers’ creativity by cross-merchandising fresh produce and other items that create a cohesive meal or recipe. Build-your-own avocado toast, baked potatoes, pizzas, or breakfast bowls are a fun way to incorporate lots of fresh fruits and vegetables into meals for social gatherings.
At the start of a fresh year, resolutions for healthy living are top of mind. Incorporate these ideas all year to keep up the healthy momentum. To talk about your fresh produce program, connect with one of our fresh experts.
1Shawn M. Talbott, PhD, “Exercise Vs. Diet: The Truth About Weight Loss.” Huffington Post, December 6, 2017.