5-a-day hitting home with shoppers, says IGD

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More than two-fifths (43%) of shoppers say they eat five portions of fruit or vegetables a day as part of a healthy lifestyle, according to consumer research from the food industry’s research body, IGD. The figure has been steadily increasing since 2006 when less than a third (32%) of shoppers made the claim. Those in the lower social grades, however, are not responding to the 5-a-day message.

Only 26% of shoppers from social grades DE claim to meet the 5-a-day target – showing no increase at all over the last four years

While 50% of ABs and 48% of C1C2s consume five portions of fruit or vegetables a day

The biggest increase over the past 12 months is among shoppers in social grade C2, up 25 percentage points

When asked about activities that they follow to lead a healthy lifestyle, eating 5-a-day was the most popular answer:

–       43% said they eat 5-a-day (compared with 32% in 2006)

–       40% said they drink more water (38% in 2006)

–       38% said eat low fat versions of food (33% in 2006)

–       24% said they are cutting down on their salt intake (19% in 2006)

Just over a third (36%) of shoppers said that they intend to take more exercise – a figure which has been static since 2006 (35%).

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “It is very encouraging that the message that eating five portions of fruit or vegetables a day is getting through to shoppers, but the Government, the food industry and other stakeholders working together need to keep pushing the message to some social groups in particular.

“The food industry has got behind the 5-a-day campaign and helped to make it a success. There is clearly a lot more to do to encourage people to get more exercise as well.”