Information on fruit & vegetable promotional campaigns around Europe and beyond

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Number 5/2017 – 31st of October 2017

Note from the editor: Kids in the driving seat!

September and October have nearly been and gone and today it’s Halloween already! In this 5th issue of the Fresh Times we’re taking a look at all the fruit and vegetable initiatives that people from across Europe (and the world) have been starting in these last two busy autumn months. Unsurprisingly most of these have been about putting kids in the driving seat – not literally of course. From quiz booklets, to funky nutrition triangles to food licences, it’s all about empowering children to make decisions for themselves in terms of their diet and lifestyle. We couldn’t think of a better way to inspire kids to continue thinking about the importance of fruit and vegetables as they grow up. To complement this, we’ve also noticed an unusual trend for fruit and vegetable music – both as instruments and lyrics! However novel, we’re loving it and we hope it continues into winter! Happy reading!

Global: Healthy lifestyle tips for kids

Everyone loves a good quiz, don’t they? This month EUFIC, the European Food Information Council, launched a quiz booklet on 10 healthy lifestyle tips for kids. The quiz booklet allows kids to learn about their diet and lifestyle and learn healthy tips as they go along at the same time. By choosing answers that most closely match their diet and lifestyle kids are able to score their diet and lifestyle and see in what areas they can improve and how. Sounds easy? The booklet is also available in 14 languages and can be easily printed or ordered from the EUFIC website. In addition to diet and health, the booklet emphasises the importance of a balanced lifestyle, addressing the idea of allowing our bodies to function properly by eating the correct amount and types of food and making sure we’re active every day. We especially love tip number five – eat fruits and vegetables with each meal and as tasty snacks!

Belgium: The new nutrition triangle

We’ve all seen the nutritional triangle, but have you seen the new and improved upturned version? The Flemish Institute of Healthy Living collated current scientific knowledge about healthy nutrition and provided a new version of the nutrition triangle that is both simple and ensures that there will be enough healthy food for all in the future. The nutritional triangle is divided into three sections in different colours with each section representing the importance of the products in that layer on your health. This explains why at the top of the triangle is water – it is crucial for the body’s survival and takes precedence above all other nutrition elements. The nutritional triangle is based on three guiding principles: eat more fruit and vegetables than animal products, avoid ultra-efficient food as much as possible, and do not waste food and moderate consumption. Nutritional triangle images, infographics, e-learning materials and other resources are available via the website, along with other background documents. Happy learning!

Germany: Do you have your food license? 

Primary school children are being put in the driving seat in Germany! But not in a car as you might expect, but in school to get their very own food license. Children in year three at primary schools in the Baden-Württemberg länder (state) are being taught practical nutrition education through a ‘nutritional license’ programme, which gives children not only the pleasure of choosing high quality food but also the knowledge in how best to prepare it. During the programme, participating children learn how to prepare small dishes, use kitchen utensils appropriately and learn proper hygiene rules. To pass their license they must also complete an exam to gain their full food license! In addition to learning a variety of skills in the classroom, as part of their license, school children are also encouraged to help their parents prepare meals in the kitchen at home to give them more experience and put their new found skills to the test!

The UK: Dealing out Top Chomps cards

Put your hand up if you’re ready to learn about nutrition with Top Chomps! Top Chomps was developed in the UK as an education card game for school children. Aimed at developing an understanding of nutrition from an early age, Top Chomps promotes healthy eating in a fun environment for school children. With different cards with different nutrition facts on them about fruits and vegetables, Top Chomps is an engaging and dynamic game for children aged 7-14 to learn about nutrition at school. Involving 4 key stages, the card game covers multiple subjects with cross-curricular resources to support healthy eating teaching. Each game additionally comes with associated teaching materials for teachers to both play the game and incorporate into other healthy eating learning activities. Extra Top Chomps card packs are also available – an extra card pack of 44 cards on fruit and an extra card pack of 44 on vegetables. So what are you waiting for? Let’s play!

Romania: Veggie heroes to the rescue!

How do you convince children that fruits and vegetables are not all boring, but actually exciting, tasty and nutritious food items? You transform them into superheroes of course! This year, Mega Image, a supermarket in Romania turned a variety of fruits and vegetables into different superheroes to do just that, convince children that discovering new fruits and vegetables is exciting and fun! Consequently, among the different superheroes a carrot was transformed into a rocket, an eggplant (aubergine) into an astronaut and a cauliflower in a super sheep through different packaging costumes. Along with their own unique costumes, each superhero character came with a storybook of tales about their various adventures. This superhero transformation then helped parents turn the chore of healthy eating into an imaginative experience for their children, both in the supermarket when buying the product and at home. Next time we go the supermarket, we’ll be keeping an eye out for any superheroes in the aisles!

Switzerland: Celebrating Apple day! 

Every year on the third Friday of September, people across Switzerland celebrate Apple Day ‘Tag des Apfels’ – a day dedicated to Switzerland’s favourite fruit! This year was an especially commemorative occasion as the 22nd September was the 25th time Apple Day has been celebrated across the country. Apple Day is celebrated annually in Switzerland as it’s the number one fruit consumed throughout the year with 16kg of apples being consumed per capita – that’s over two apples each per day! But Apple Day does not only celebrate the fruit’s popularity, but additionally works to raise awareness of a diet high in fruit. Did you know that apples are a good source of fibre and are only about 52 kcal per 100g? As they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away! This year the Swiss Fruit Association organised free distribution of apples around 30 stations and public places across the country and promoted its use in Swiss cuisine in collaboration with supermarkets and restaurants.

Poland: F&V are music to our ears

We’ve all eaten fruits and vegetables, but have you played them? Cucumbers, peppers, pineapples, lemons and many other different fruits and vegetables were producing music as part of the Metro Unboxed exhibition in Düsseldorf this September. A very nutritious concert was played by the French-Russian group Playtronica at the exhibition, showcasing the untapped musical talents of fruits and vegetables. Each fruit and vegetable was connected to the “Playtron” computer, and when each product was touched, the electrical energy from this was processed by the computer and generated into sounds. Fruit and vegetable playlists were created and anyone at the event was able to test out the food synthesizer and create their own fruity tunes. The aim of the exhibition was to showcase the world of modern trade, and the fruit and vegetable tunes featured as part of the section on digital trends of the future. The finale of the concert was the final consumption of the musical fruits and vegetables! Will you be playing cucumbers in the future?

Europe: Around the world, around the world

In September UGPBAN (L’Union des Groupements de Producteurs de Bananes de Guadeloupe et Martinique) launched their campaign promoting products from Ultra Peripheral Regions from around the world. Never heard this term before? A few Ultra Peripheral Regions in the EU include the Canary Islands, Madeira, Guadeloupe and Martinique. The campaign will run from 2017 to 2019 and will showcase the quality of exotic fruits from these regions. The exotic products will be exhibited in different markets under the motto “Exotic taste of Europe”. The objective of the campaign is to inform European consumers, young and old, of the advantages of these exotic products and to increase awareness and recognition of the RUP (Régions Ultraphériphériques de l’Europe).  If you want to see the campaign in action, all you have to do is look for exotics ranging from bananas to melons in France, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Germany and Poland where you’ll be able to find the motto!

UK: F&V in shapes and sizes for everyone

Can you think of anything better than delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables? We can – fresh fruits and vegetables in fun shapes!  In September Tesco released a range of fresh fruit and vegetables cut into the fun shapes – the first British supermarket to do so – to encourage children to eat healthier. A similar technique has historically been used for children’s food products, such as tinned alphabet spaghetti and frozen food, however this is the first time that it has been applied to fresh fruit and vegetables. Tesco hopes that the new interesting shapes and sizes of fruits and vegetables will help children explore a wider range of products and make their mealtimes more engaging and fun. Each fruit and vegetable is cut into small child-sized and bite-sized pieces, making them tailor-made for children. The different shapes will be able available in 200 Tesco stores across the UK – we don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to try them out!

Poland: 5-a-day F&V diet for everyone!

How do you get adults and children to make a healthy diet high in fruit and vegetables become a daily healthy habit? In September, the 13th International Congress of Fruit and Vegetable Promotion held in Warsaw, Poland tried to answer just that…and there wasn’t just one solution! In the first hours of the congress, a declaration was signed to support and exchange best practices on the promotion of fruit and vegetable consumption, especially the ‘5-a-day’ concept, to demonstrate the importance of the issue and fight against diet-related non-communicable diseases. As we see in our Fresh Times many countries are already taking the lead! For example, in Finland, visibility of delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables is key in supermarkets, with vegetables and fruits located right next to the shop window, and in France, programmes incorporating modern technology are focused on children to develop good habits at an early age! Watch this space for more promotion initiatives in the months to come!

The USA: Groovin’ to some Veggie Beats

Need some cool beats to lift your mood for the day? Why not listen to the Broccoli Song? Rocket Surgeons, the US band from Denver, is part of Veggie Beats, a group of music producers who are enthusiastic about songs that help children learn about various vegetables, their nutritional benefits and how to have fun while making and eating them! Veggie Beats love music and they couldn’t think of a better way to influence children’s dietary habits in a positive way. As part of Veggie Beats, the Rocket Surgeons recently released the Broccoli song with an accompanying video via social media. Through the Broccoli song the Rocket Surgeons want to make children enthusiastic about vegetables instead of convincing them to eat vegetables because it would be good for them. To continue their ballads about fruits and vegetables, Veggie Beats also launched a Kickstart to help fund their message of healthy eating for children, and are looking for people to help change children’s diets one song at a time!

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