Americans Think Fresh Produce is Essential—But Don't Think Their Peers Recognize That

Most adults believe fruits and vegetables are a good choice for personal and planet health, but think general public is unaware of benefits
Dole berries and veggies
Photograph courtesy of Dole Food Co. Inc.

Most U.S. adults see fresh fruits and vegetables as not only a flavorful and healthful meal addition but also a necessity for kids' lunches and an environmentally positive food choice, a new survey from Dole Food Co. suggests. But nearly half think that the general public is unaware about the varied benefits of fresh produce. 

For its Dole Fresh Produce Survey, the company polled 1,038 adults about their opinions about fruits and vegetables, focusing on preparation, consumption, motivations and nutrition, and environmental benefits. The survey found that 68% of adults said fruits and vegetables are tasty; 63% said they are necessary for kids’ lunches; 60% said they add flavor to meals; and 51% said that eating produce has a positive effect on the environment.

More than one-third of respondents (37%) said they eat produce as part of a larger strategy of trying to adopt a plant-based diet or lifestyle; 48% feel that they can make fruit and vegetable recipes in a reasonable amount of time; and 46% said they generally have a meal in mind when purchasing produce.

However, 48% of those polled said they think the general public remains ignorant about the health and environmental impacts of fresh produce, ultimately serving to limit produce consumption. “This survey is more proof of the disconnect between Americans’ desire to eat healthier, including a produce-rich diet, and their ability to make that lifestyle a reality, given all of life’s demands,” said William Goldfield, corporate communications director for Dole, in a release.

At Dole, we realize that healthy living can be a challenge, which is why we’re committed to continually providing the highest quality fresh produce, fantastic plant-forward recipes, serving suggestions, education and wellness advice that can transform the desire for increased nutritional health into a daily routine for anyone, regardless of where they are on their personal health journey," Goldfield said. 



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