Monday, April 26, 2010

Research targets nutritional benefits of tropicals

Excerpts from an article in The Packer special section Tropical Fruit Marketing by Abraham Mahshie published on 04/23/2010 11:42AM

Nutrition is a top selling point for tropical fruit suppliers, who are scrambling to publicize new health benefits to strengthen category growth.Suppliers increasingly seek out research studies about disease-fighting characteristics, labels like “super fruit” and wellness benefits predominant in fruit when making their case for increased consumption.

Mary Ostlund, marketing director for Brooks Tropicals Inc., Homestead, Fla., said Brooks has enlisted a nutritionist to write a column featuring a different one of the company’s products each month. “I always tout the benefits of eating tropical fruits and vegetables, but it’s time to get someone who is really knowledgeable about what you need in your diet,” she said of the new column written by nutritionist Donna Shields, author of “Caribbean Light,” a book about cooking with tropical fruits and vegetables.

Ostlund said the column provides recipes that help consumers to think of Brooks’ items in a different way, like adding starfruit to a Thai salad instead of just using it as a garnish.“It might be cheaper to buy frozen or canned vegetables, but I think the health consciousness has uprooted or trumped that feeling and it’s better to buy fresh,” she said. “We are very lucky to be able buy fresh vegetables that come in from all over the world."