Foodservice Footprint F42-Review-2 Free veggies are for good business Foodservice News and Information Out of Home sector news  news-email

Free veggies are for good business

Researchers in the Netherlands have found that business meetings and hospitals are “ideal” opportunities to promote healthy eating.

The team, funded by fruit and veg sector representatives, provided free veggies in a variety of public spaces in a bid to drive up consumption. Like Brits, the Dutch don’t consumer anywhere near enough of the recommended intake of fruit and veg (130g of the suggested 250g).

The researchers thought the lunch canteen might be a good place to start but soon discovered it was a “hard place to effect because people just want their meals”.

However, when the free vegetables were placed in business meetings or hospitals there was an “enormous increase” in consumption – up to an average of 97g per person per sitting. And that’s despite there being free cookies available too.

Further research is now needed to determine whether the healthy freebies were taken as a novelty, reported FoodNavigator.com.

Four in five British adults eat less than the recommended 3.5 portions of veg a day – and there are concerns this will fall as the price of food rises in the wake of Brexit.

The Food Foundation, together with WWF-UK, Nourish Scotland and Food Cardiff, are currently exploring how to increase consumption. Education programmes haven’t worked, so “Peas Please” is focusing on supply chain triggers, such as improving availability, quality and affordability.