You probably aren’t surprised to hear that consumers struggle to eat enough fruits and vegetables. On-the-go lifestyles and a lack of convenient, tasty options make it challenging for consumers to get the whole food, fruit and vegetable nutrition they need. You might be surprised to learn, though, that the problem is so widespread. In fact, the USDA estimates that 85% of Americans do not include the necessary fruit and vegetable servings in their daily diet.
Yet, the evidence is clear - eating nutritious food can help people avoid health risks. So, to help inform and educate the public about this relationship between food and nutritional wellness, the USDA publishes the Dietary Guidelines for Americans* every five years.
The federally supported, science-based report includes helpful nutrition and serving size information for the public, health professionals, and…for product development teams like yours.
Have you been wondering what’s new in the latest edition of the Dietary Guidelines, but haven’t had the time to study such a comprehensive report? Or, maybe you’re wondering how the updates can help you appeal to consumers with easy-to-eat products?
Here are 4 helpful takeaways from the 2020-2025 report that can help answer your questions.
1. Focus shift to overall dietary patterns
The newest Dietary Guidelines shift focus to overall dietary patterns versus isolated nutrients or dietary compounds. In the past, the Dietary Guidelines focused on the health impact of consuming specific nutrients. The shift in the latest edition acknowledges that people consume nutrients as part of their overall diet, not in isolation. This change helps Americans understand the importance of eating a healthy diet made up of a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods.
2. Fortified foods and dietary supplements
The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines report also recognizes that nutritional supplements and fortified foods can help address shortfalls. The Dietary Guidelines are clear that eating nutrient-dense whole foods should still be the primary way to meet the recommendations. But, this version acknowledges that other tools, such as dietary supplements, can help positively impact nutrition.
3. New nutrition facts label requirements
This edition of the Dietary Guidelines also helped inform the FDA’s new 2020 Nutrition Facts label requirements. For example, the Dietary Guidelines recommend that Americans reduce added sugar in their diets. They also recommend that Americans consume more vitamin D and potassium, two of the USDA’s “nutrients of concern.” In response to the USDA recommendations, the FDA updated label requirements to include information about added sugar, vitamin D, and potassium.
4. Beans get a promotion
Past editions of the Dietary Guidelines included a “Legumes” category. The new edition updated this category to “Beans, Peas, and Lentils.” The USDA also clarified that foods within this group could be considered both a vegetable and protein source. This is especially relevant for product formulators developing protein alternative food products made from plants.
The newest edition also makes it clear that Americans are struggling to consume certain dietary components like whole grains, dietary fiber, fruits, and vegetables. In fact, the USDA estimates 80% of Americans do not consume enough fruit and 90% do not consume enough vegetables regularly.
So, how can you help consumers bridge these nutrition gaps and satisfy the USDA recommendations?
Developing innovative and accessible products can help consumers include the recommended fruit and vegetable nutrition in their diets. Successful products need to be:
- Great tasting
And, they need to include real fruit and vegetable servings.
You might be thinking – easier said than done.
It’s true - creating a better-for-you product that meets all the above criteria can be a challenge.
But, we found a way to make it easier with our TruServ® program. TruServ connects Van Drunen Farms and FutureCeuticals’ whole food, dehydrated fruit and vegetable powders and pieces to corresponding USDA recommended serving sizes through a proprietary database. These connections allow you to deliver real fruit and vegetable servings in your finished products.
Not only that, the TruServ program helps you make substantiated fruit and vegetable serving claims on your product labels. These claims can empower consumers to make better choices and help your product stand out in the market.
To make the product development process even simpler, we developed three signature TruServ powder blends using our fruit and vegetable ingredients. These featured blends are examples of piece and serving claims your product can deliver. We can also help you create a custom blend to make claims unique to your product, no matter your sensory or cost targets.
- Fruit Blend = ½ Serving of Fruit
- Veggie Blend = 1 Serving of Vegetables
- Greens Blend = 1 Serving of Vegetables
Let’s talk more about how you can use TruServ to create products with serving claims that help consumers meet the Dietary Guidelines.
Still want to learn more? No problem! Download our FREE Dietary Guidelines Summary Report to read more about the 2020-2025 USDA Dietary Guidelines and our TruServ program.
*2020 – 2025 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans