The Chips are Down on 5-a-Day

  • 23% of Brits think chips count as vegetables
  • 70% don’t eat 5-a-day

  • 1 in 4 (26%) think five portions of the same fruit or vegetable meets daily requirements

Nearly one quarter of Brits (23%) believe that chips count as a portion of vegetables, according to new 5-a-day research released by Sainsbury's to mark their support of the Government's Responsibility Deal announced today, which aims to increase consumption of fruit and vegetables amongst Brits.

Many Brits don't understand what contributes towards our 5-a-day intake with one third of Brits incorrectly thinking that potatoes count as a portion of vegetables. Of this, almost half (47%) believe that roast potatoes go towards meeting the recommended daily fruit and vegetable intake.

While 85% of Brits understand the importance of eating 5-a-day, the research shows that very few actually put it into practice, with 70% of people failing to meet the recommended intake.

It's not just what we're eating that is causing confusion; consumers are also puzzled about varieties, with over one quarter (26%) believing they can eat five of the same fruit or veg in order to meet the daily requirement, although Government guidelines recommend eating a variety of fruit and vegetable types to get the most benefit. Even with this in mind, 15% said they eat three or less types of fruit and vegetables each week.

One third (32%) also admit to worrying more about their children eating the necessary amount, than they do about their own fruit and vegetable intake.

When asked what the barriers are to eating 5-a-day, over one third of people (34%) said they can't find time, while 18% said they think fruit and vegetables are too expensive.

To help educate Brits on the importance of 5-a-day, the Government is calling upon brands to encourage consumers to eat more fruit and vegetables as part of the Responsibility Deal, which launched today, November 14th. Sainsbury's is proud to support the campaign and will drive consumer awareness of the need to eat 5-a-day by highlighting how affordable and easy this is to achieve.

As well as on-pack advice which explains how much each serving the particular pack or item contributes to 5-a-day, the supermarket has also developed new products to encourage customers to eat more fruit and veg, such as a snacking platter containing five different types of fruits, and the addition of seven different fruit bags into meal deal promotions, as a healthier snack choice. Sainsbury's is also using coupons at tills to incentivise lapsed customers to purchase fruit and vegetables with money off vouchers.

Charlie Parker, Company Nutritionist for Sainsbury's, said: "Fruit and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet so it's important that people understand the different ways that they can meet their 5-a-day. Eating 5-a-day is a fundamental step towards an everyday healthy lifestyle and we back the Government's desire to increase awareness of this". It is well established that eating 5-a-day can help lower the risk of serious health problems. Fruit and veg provide essential vitamins and minerals as well as fibre and phytochemicals.

"The range of fresh fruit and vegetables in Sainsbury's stores is extensive but consumers can also contribute to their 5-a-day through frozen fruit and vegetables, tinned fruit and vegetables - including soups - and juices and smoothies. Achieving a good mix of daily fruit and veg is easier than many people realise, and more affordable too - our British vegetables packs are priced at just £1 and we have 92 lines within our Basics range that contribute to our 5-a-day."

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