New research shows that more New Zealanders than ever are eating the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables, but many struggle to find the time to prepare fresh produce.
The survey conducted in June this year by independent research company NielsenIQ* found 40 percent of us are getting at least five servings of fruit and vegetables each day while the 13 percent who only ate one serving in 2017 has decreased to just 9 percent of the population.
Carmel Ireland, Project Manager at The 5+ A Day Charitable Trust which commissioned the research, is pleased with the increasing popularity of fresh produce. “It’s great to see New Zealanders are, on the whole, eating more fresh fruit and vegetables as they are proven to be one of the best sources of nutrition for all the whānau,” she says.
Despite growing numbers enjoying the benefits of a diet high in fresh produce, the survey identified a number of hurdles that prevent shoppers from adding more fruit and vegetables to their supermarket trolley.
“Since our last survey in 2017, the number of families concerned about the price of fruit and vegetables has dropped significantly while concerns about the time involved in food preparation is becoming a much more important factor for shoppers … We’re seeing an increasing trend of time-poor families that have less and less time to prepare home-cooked meals with high quality fresh fruit and vegetables. Many of our retailers are recognising this change and producing ready-to-use, pre-cut vegetable mixes to enable whānau to serve up easy, healthy dinners in a hurry,” says Ireland.
Sources of inspiration for new recipes are also changing with online resources replacing books, television and instore recipe cards. Instagram, YouTube and TikTok are the fastest growing platforms, accounting for 30 percent of the sources used by home cooks looking for new ways to prepare their 5+ A Day.
“Our Instagram account, @5adaynz, is an excellent source of recipes to please even the fussiest member of your whānau,” says Ireland.
“We also provide regular tips and tricks on how to store your fresh produce to ensure it lasts as long as possible and help you make the most out of your weekly fruit and vegetable shop.”