The 5 A Day Campaign: Focus Group Findings
The benefits that were more likely to encourage greater consumption of fruits and vegetables were immediate benefits, rather than long term benefits such as disease prevention. Consumers felt that the other associated benefits such as the reduction of stress, greater control and the reduced risk of cancer, were irrelevant or unlikely.
Target consumers think generally, rather than specifically. For example, these focus groups showed that target consumers were in search of moderation as opposed to transformation, i.e. they wanted to eat better but not “perfectly.” Nutrition and health were priorities for consumers, but not at the top. Price, taste and convenience are all factors which were perceived as both benefits and barriers to the program. Women are more likely to apply a moral component to food and “eating right.” The most favored concepts include: a. “Eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day will help keep you going and won’t weight you down.” and b. “Eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables is an easy way to improve my health.” The concepts which were widely rejected were: a. “A great number of studies conclude that people with high fruit and vegetable intakes have about half the risk of cancer of people with low intakes. The National Cancer Institute recommends that Americans eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day to reduce their cancer risk.” and b. “If I eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables, it will add zest (or vitality) to my life.” Overall, these findings suggest that nutrition educators should use messages with immediate consumer benefits and include “quick and easy” tips to facilitate the goal consumer behavior.
Additionally, the study highlights the importance of direct consumer research to ensure that marketing campaign messages are relevant to the target audience.