Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Making fruit easier to eat increases sales and consumption in school cafeterias

Date:
April 17, 2013
Source:
Cornell Food & Brand Lab
Summary:
People believe that children avoid fruit because of the taste and allure of alternative packaged snacks. Researchers have concluded that the size of the snack counts the most. Apple sales in schools with fruit slicers increased by 71 percent and the percentage of students who ate more than half of their apple increased by 73 percent, an effect that lasted long after the study was over.

Fresh apple sliced with slicer.
Credit: Piotr Marcinski / Fotolia

Previous studies and surveys have shown that kids love to eat fruit in ready-to-eat bite-sized pieces, yet in most school settings, the fruit is served whole, which could be the cause that children are taking fruits but not eating them. Most people believe that children avoid fruit because of the taste and allure of alternative packaged snacks. A study by Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab researchers Brian Wansink, David Just, Andrew Hanks, and Laura Smith decided to get to the bottom of why children were avoiding their fruit. Could, perhaps, increasing the convenience of fruit increase consumption?

To address this question, researchers conducted a pilot study in eight elementary schools within the same district. Each school was given a commercial fruit slicer and instructed to use it when students requested apples. The fruit slicer cut the fruit into six pieces and the process took three to four seconds. Results from interviews conducted with students during this pilot indicated they dislike eating fruit for two main reasons: for younger students, who might have braces or missing teeth, a large fruit is too inconvenient to eat; for older girls, it is unattractive-looking to eat such a fruit in front of others. Initial results showed fruit sales increased by an average of 61%, when the fruit was sliced.

Fruit Bytes with Paula Mee -- Getting Kids to Eat Fruit

To confirm this finding, six middle schools in this same district were added to the study. Three of the schools were given fruit slicers, while the other three continued normal cafeteria operations to act as a control. Fruit slices were placed in cups in two of the three schools and on a tray in the third school. To assess actual consumption, trained field researchers were assigned to every school to record how much of the apple was wasted by counting the number of slices thrown away by each student.

Results showed that apple sales in schools with fruit slicers increased by 71% compared to control schools. More importantly, researchers found that the percentage of students who ate more than half of their apple increased by 73%, an effect that lasted long after the study was over.

This study shows that making fruit easier to eat encourages more children to select it and to eat more of it. With an initial investment of just $200, fruit slicers constitute a means for school cafeterias not only to encourage fruit consumption among students but also to prevent food waste.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell Food & Brand Lab. The original article was written by Joanna Ladzinski and Brooke Pearson. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wansink, B., Just, D.R., Hanks, A.S. & Smith, L.E. Pre-Sliced Fruit in School Cafeterias: Children’s Selection and Intake. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 2013

Cite This Page:

Cornell Food & Brand Lab. "Making fruit easier to eat increases sales and consumption in school cafeterias." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130417165007.htm>.
Cornell Food & Brand Lab. (2013, April 17). Making fruit easier to eat increases sales and consumption in school cafeterias. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130417165007.htm
Cornell Food & Brand Lab. "Making fruit easier to eat increases sales and consumption in school cafeterias." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130417165007.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins