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NEWARK, Del.-- New consumer research conducted by the Produce Marketing Association indicates that just about half of the primary shoppers for households have a clear understanding of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines.
The study consisted of a survey of 1,000 households. According to the results, 49 percent of primary shoppers in those households understand enough about the guidelines to motivate them to buy more fruits and vegetables.
Sixty-three percent of consumers said they remain unfamiliar with the new dietary guidelines, which were released in April by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, when informed of the increases in consumption recommended by the new federal guidelines, 66 percent of respondents said they are eating or are planning to eat more fruits and vegetables to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
"The results appear to show that consumers will respond if retailers provide them with information," said Bryan Silbermann, PMA president.
Respondents were asked to choose which steps retail produce departments could take to help them better understand the new dietary guidelines. The results
-- Signage highlighting nutritional value and dietary facts was named by 87 percent
-- Information on health benefits of each item: 85 percent
-- Colorful signs that clearly show the benefits of fresh produce: 83 percent
-- Recipes including nutritional information: 82 percent
-- Knowledgeable and available produce staff: 82 percent
-- Availability of produce tasting: 77 percent
The survey data also indicated primary shoppers desire more information from supermarket produce departments regarding the positive impacts consumption has on health benefits overall, on combating obesity, on disease prevention, and on marketing to children.
Opinion Dynamics Corporation (ODC) conducted the research for PMA during June 2005. The results are statistically valid within a +/- 3.10 percent margin of error at the 95 percent confidence interval.