We are thankful for the ongoing commitment of the retail industry to inspire consumers to add more produce to their shopping carts. To provide inspiration to you in planning for National Fruits & Veggies Month this September, we’ve pulled together our top five favorite retail activation ideas to help consumers Have A Plant® every time they eat. #haveaplant #NFVM2023
#1: Produce Pairings
Most often, consumers eat foods in combination, and there’s a host of directions you can take to promote fruits and vegetables as the perfect pairing with other healthy foods. Legend has it that Elvis’s fav sandwich was peanut butter-and-banana, so go celebrity. Remind shoppers of the classics, like fruit and cheese (protein + fiber) or meat and potatoes (more than 200 varieties sold in the U.S.!). Go plant-based with nuts and fruit or veggie risotto (think pumpkin, squash, Brussel sprouts for Fall).
#2: Microdosing Fruits & Veggies
Yes, we know the title is provocative! But the concept fits perfectly with Food as Medicine campaigns. Inspired by a retail RD attendee at a Foundation for Fresh Produce event, the concept is to shift programs and your shoppers’ thinking from a full plate/bowl/serving of produce to adding small amounts wherever they can. Think a tomato and lettuce on a burger or sandwich, some leftover asparagus or mushrooms scrambled into breakfast eggs, or carrots shredded into meatloaf. Adding a little to meals and snacks throughout the day adds up at the end of the day!
#3: A New Kind Of BOGO
While buy-one-get-one offers are common in the retail space, we’re suggesting a new kind of BOGO – buy-one-give-one for canned foods. Work with your merchants, canned fruit and veg suppliers, and philanthropic arm of your retailer to develop the campaign where for every canned fruit or vegetable purchased, your retailer will donate one to a local food pantry to stock their shelves for the fall months. Add recipes and tips created by your RD team and promote the offer through social and digital.
#4: Feature Farmers
Work with your produce suppliers to determine if they have on-farm videos that can be linked to their items in your online shopping environment. Or coordinate visits to key producer farms, creating a series of “RD on the Farm” videos for posting in e-commerce. On your favorite social media site, create a cadence of posting a video clip or graphic post highlighting a produce-related farm fact. Or create e-commerce banner ads with this information, linking directly to the product. Whether it’s about how quickly pears go from tree to can or how broccoli is used to add nutrients to the field in the off season of melons, these highlights are sure to engage shoppers.
#5: Create The Next Challenge Sensation
Part of the reason trends like Whole 30 and Sober September have been successful is that they ask individuals to do something for a specific timeframe. From an outcome standpoint, health professionals know that after 30 days of doing a behavior, it’s likely to stick at some level for the long haul. So put your creativity cap on and come up with a fruit and veggie challenge for your shoppers for the 30 days of National Fruits and Veggies Month. Is it a “Microdosing Produce” challenge? Or a “Eat One, Share One” challenge among family members? What about “30 New Veggies in 30 Days”? You’ve got this!