Some 62% of all households agree that they are trying to eat healthier these days, and nearly 55% are working to eat a balanced diet, according to Packaged Facts in the report Kids Food and Beverage Market in the U.S., 9th Edition. This indicates broad awareness and intent to improve healthy habits among consumers. Still, good intent is often thwarted by a treat mentality.
Beyond one’s desire to indulge, another disrupter of good intentions is the perceived lack of time to prepare/eat healthy meals. This underscores the produce category’s movement to deliver fruits and veggies in ready-to-eat formats, such as fresh cut produce or canned/jarred fruits and veggies in single-serve packages. Industry players can also align as an ally to parents in the battle to get kids to eat fruit and veggies through the “stealth health” movement.
- With nearly 90% penetration, use of fresh produce is far-reaching and universal. Marketers are adding convenience attributes (i.e., pre-washed, prepped, ready-to-eat) to advance use of fresh fruit and veggies in all households, but such tactics especially resonate with busy families.
- Non-fresh segments also achieve strong incidence of use—reaching roughly two-thirds of households. Among selected produce products, families skew higher in usage of canned/jarred fruit.
- Over time, usage of canned/jarred fruit has trended down—from 72% of all households in 2008 to 64% in 2017. Fruit cups have been a lunchbox staple for years, but recent innovation focuses on expanding usage to the entire family with more unique flavor profiles.
- From 2008-2017, usage of canned/jarred veggies has also trended down slightly, but the decline is more pronounced in households with kids. The canned/jarred veggie category has become somewhat antiquated and unexciting, especially when faced with increasing competition in frozen veggies.
- Fruit and veggie puree mixes enable marketers to leverage the hidden veggie concept, which increases responsiveness from kids for taste and approval from parents in nutrition.