From NASFT’s Specialty Food Magazine, March 31, 2010
Apples: The Next Superfruit
After today, America will no longer connect apples primarily with wholesome activities like picking bushels amid a spectrum of leaves in the fall, warming up with cider on a wintry day, or crunching a candied variety at Halloween.
People will think of apples as the next superfruit, an accessible, value-priced, nutritional energy source on par with blueberries and pomegranates. That’s the logical outcome of a new national survey of 1,021 chief household shoppers across the nation conducted for the U.S. Apple Association by SupermarketGuru.com, in which:
• 96% called apples an ‘anytime’ food for both adults and children
• 90% said they would consider apples and apple products (slices, cider, not pastries) a regular part of their healthier diet in 2010
• 64% rated apples a one, two or three on a ‘most healthful’ scale of ten, with one being the highest rating
Moreover, when asked about the health attributes of apples and apples products, similarly high proportions of respondents were aware of the truth behind these scientifically supported statements:
• Apples and apple products, especially those with the peel left intact, are rich in plant compounds called polyphenols and antioxidants, both known to promote health (92%).
• Apples and apple products may help to boost weight loss efforts (89%).
• Daily consumption of apples and apple products can help reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or “bad” cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease (85%).
One result of this understanding: vast majorities said they will serve apples to their families and house guests more often. “The magnitude of their response reflects their desire to eat healthfully—and the ability of apples to help them do that because of their nutritional makeup, portability, affordability ad accessibility,” said The Lempert Report’s own Phil Lempert, a food, consumer and marketing trends analyst.
He considered the comparably high nutrition ratings of apples in the survey to be notable, since blueberries and pomegranates are higher-priced food options. Consumers were asked between December 2009 and February 2010 about the nutrition, health, merchandising influences, eating habits and more surrounding apples..
It became clear to Lempert, after evaluating the survey findings, that “apples are a year-round fruit, and consumer willingness to buy, eat and serve more apples is a vast opportunity for retailers. Merchants already display apples prominently as a stage-setter, but now they need to think further about how to tap into this mindset that apples are a ‘superfruit’ and great for a person’s health and overall wellness.”