APPEALING to the heart and mind, rather than the stomach, is the thinking behind a new fresh produce consumption campaign.
Last week, Hort Innovation launched a whole-of-horticulture campaign called, The Good Mood Food Campaign.
The program comes in response to the numerous challenges growers have faced in recent months, including drought, floods and bushfires, plus the added challenges COVID-19 has had on mental wellbeing and mood through isolation.
The campaign is encouraging people to look after themselves mentally to boost their mood as well as promote good physical health.
According to Hort Innovation, "the aim is to motivate Australian consumers to eat more fruit, veg and nuts" with a message that "when you eat better, you feel better".
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"It's not just about physical health benefits, it's about how fresh Australian produce can naturally boost your mood, especially at the moment," a Hort Innovation statement said.
Last week's launch included a new television advertisement alongside public relations, increased social media and a range of partnerships to see the campaign reach up to 98 per cent of Australians.
Consumer behavioural data available through the Hort Innovation levy funded Harvest to Home initiative highlighted that overall fresh produce volumes were up 5pc compared to March last year.
However, performance at the category level has been mixed with consumers responding to competing influences concerning price, perishability, and discretion.
Growth in fresh produce sales have been widely outpaced by frozen and canned products of which a greater share is imported.
Only 5.4pc of the Australian adult population are meeting their fruit and vegetable requirements.
Hort Innovation chief executive officer, Matt Brand, said the campaign grew out of the need to support growers across Australia and stimulate demand for fruit, vegetables, and nuts as through and beyond COVID-19.
"It's extremely important that we promote the importance of eating fresh Australian produce to all Australians which in turn supports growers," Mr Brand said.
"The campaign is developed so it can be extended and focus on seasonality or moments where Australians will be looking for increased health and wellbeing or eating options.
"We want to support growers with what they are facing now, and with whatever happens next. This campaign provides the flexible platform to do that.
"The whole-of-horticulture design of this campaign provides opportunities for other, individual industries to benefit from using its content to amplify their own unique consumer positioning."