LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets has once again announced plans to feature fresh Florida produce items during in-store “Simple Meals” cooking demonstrations in locations throughout the Southeast, and in Publix Cooking Schools in Jacksonville, Tampa, Sarasota and Boca Raton, Fla., and Atlanta. Beginning next spring, from Feb. 1 to May 21, Publix will feature a variety of different Florida produce items, with each item highlighted in “Simple Meals” demos and recipes for three to four days. As part of the Florida Department of Agriculture's ongoing “Fresh from Florida” marketing effort, the partnership with Publix presents “an exceptional opportunity to highlight Florida's early-spring harvest of fresh produce,” Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson said in a release.
YOUNG SHOPPERS SHUNNING VEGGIES
WASHINGTON — Over time, growth in demand for fresh vegetables may begin to slow, because young people are spending much less on fresh vegetables than prior generations, according to a report released this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service division here. “Today's younger [demographics] are exhibiting less demand for fresh vegetables (excluding melons) than older Americans are. And, all else constant, they may also exhibit less demand for at-home fresh vegetables in their later years than today's older generations currently do,” the report states. Americans increased their average daily consumption of fresh vegetables from 0.76 cup to 0.98 cup per person between 1980 and 2000, but “the long-term rate of growth appears to have slowed” since. The report credited several factors for the increase between 1980 and 2000, including the introduction of convenience items such as baby carrots and bagged spinach, as well as government and nonprofit efforts to educate consumers about the importance of vegetable consumption in a healthy diet.
UNITED FRESH PUSHES SALAD BARS
WASHINGTON — In an effort to urge legislators to support a national school salad bar policy as part of the upcoming Child Nutrition Act, the United Fresh Produce Association has announced it will feature a salad bar at its Fresh Festival event, scheduled Sept. 9 at the Cannon House Office Building during the association's Washington Public Policy Conference. “Research has proven that, when presented with the option of a salad bar, children will increase their intake of fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables,” said Lorelei DiSogra, United Fresh's vice president of nutrition and health. United Fresh hopes that a salad bar policy will help build on the success of the nationwide expansion of the Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program for schools.