Before you continue on what I am hoping is a beautiful journey through this issue of The Snack, I ask that you use this page as a moment to pause and take a deep breath—and maybe a bite, should your palate desire the same sustenance as your eyes receive from this magazine. Allow your mind to stray from all of today’s many tasks and to-do lists and take in the world around you. Find a state of deep relaxation in your body, steady your breathing, and enjoy the momentary ease of your mind.
Far too often, we allow the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day lives to cloud our heads, reducing us to stressed-out shells encasing painfully overactive brains. After a tumultuous time period for many, it’s no surprise that self-care and mental health have taken center stage and are guiding people’s everyday decisions, all the way down to what they eat.
Now, consumers are seeking products that not only have physical benefits, but physiological as well. Joining the likes of yoga and meditation, eating more holistically has become another ritual for relaxation, and it’s a trend that everyone—especially retailers—will want to tap into.
As consumers make a shift in buying behaviors to favor physiological superfoods, the opportunity has arisen on both the buy- and supply-sides to optimize a new level of fresh produce potential by highlighting the mental and emotional benefits of the diverse offerings that fill retail displays. Creating vibrant visual tools to educate shoppers about the perks of fresh produce and cross-merchandising with other options that have vast mental benefits—like leafy greens or citrus, for example—will open their eyes to new categories, and the repeat purchases will pour in once they start feeling the rewards for themselves. You can even take it a step further by providing creative new recipes to help shoppers incorporate these produce players into their daily diets and inspire impulse buys.
Studies show that those considered to have a higher level of produce intake also report a high level of mental well-being*, feeling sensations such as happiness, self-esteem, and optimism, in addition to being able to maintain healthy relationships with others. Eating a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables—such as berries, mushrooms, and more**—can improve overall happiness, even reducing the risk of depression by 25 to 30 percent***.
Why not help your shoppers find peace of mind in the produce aisle? If I could reduce all of the lessons we’ve learned over the past year and a half to one simple phrase, I’d say: mind over matter.