The new Dietary Guidelines recommend that teen boys and men consume less protein and more vegetables and other foods that they are lacking. SupermarketNews asked five retail dietitians: "What are some strategies for getting young males to consume more vegetables?" Here are their answers.
Leah McGrath, corporate dietitian, Ingles Markets
"As a wife and the stepmother to an 18-year-old college student and soccer player I think some of the keys to getting the men in our lives to eat more vegetables are:
1. Involve them in the selection and preparation of food and dinner ideas. Often the produce department of supermarkets offers pre-cut vegetables to reduce preparation time.
2. It may be a stereotype, but it often seems like many men enjoy grilling. Encourage them to accompany that perfectly grilled steak, chicken breast or salmon with vegetables that are easy to grill like zucchini and squash or by making vegetable kebabs. Supermarkets often have pre-made kebabs in the meat department with the meat and vegetables already skewered.
3. Have the talk…about fiber that is. Pointing out that a key to good gut function is fiber and that fiber is found in vegetables may make them more willing to incorporate vegetables into their meals.
4. If they like smoothies or juicing, have greens on hand that are easy to incorporate like bagged spinach or kale. Many supermarkets offer smoothie “stations” with fruit and vegetable ingredients."
Keep in mind that this audience is pretty active. Young men need more than just protein to stay fit and keep energy up. AudienceSCAN finds that Full-Time Students are 32% more likely than average to be members of fitness clubs or gyms.
Brittany Nikolich, registered dietitian nutritionist, Festival Foods
"We strongly encourage the “all forms matter” approach. Young males with active lifestyles are looking for convenient ways to add more veggies, so we like to offer suggestions that are new, tasty, yet already fit into a daily routine. Whether it’s green smoothies, veggies on favorite foods like pizza, sandwiches, burgers, tacos, quesadillas, grilled cheese or raw veggies with dip or guacamole, there are so many options these days for enjoying veggies as a meal or snack! Even things like veggie fries or baked sweet potato fries provide a fun and unique option for getting those vegetables into your diet."
14% of Full-Time Students set personal goals to run/walk/bicycle in a race or charity event in the next 12 months, according to AudienceSCAN. This means they will be training hard to accomplish the goal. Veggies will be an important aspect of the training routine. Your advertisers can use this angle in the ads they run with you!
Allison J. Stowell, registered dietitian, Hannaford Supermarket
"Use finely diced/shredded veggies or bean purees in recipes when you can (such as for meatballs or meatloaf for example) to reduce the meat needed. Go Meatless! Choose at least one meal (or for a greater challenge one whole day!) embracing vegetarian proteins like beans, soy, nut butters, and whole grains."
Shari Bilt Boockvar, registered dietitian nutritionist, Kings Food Markets
"Flavor is of utmost priority. It is important to find ingredients and cooking techniques that make vegetables tasty. For example, many teen boys and men enjoy the flavor of roasted vegetables in olive oil, topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Another option I would recommend is a delicious healthy dip, such as guacamole or hummus, for raw or cooked vegetables."
"I would also explain why colors of vegetables can have a positive effect on health. For example, the orange color in carrots and sweet potatoes are beneficial for eye health (beta-carotene) and leafy salad greens, asparagus and broccoli are beneficial for energy (folic acid)."
Students are interested in energy. AudienceSCAN says 23.9% of Full-Time Students enjoy weightlifting; and 14.3% play tennis. Your clients will be interested to know sports marketing works on these health-minded and active students. 24.5% of Students: Full-Time usually try to support companies that sponsor their favorite sports team or athlete.
Allison Yoder, retail dietetic supervisor, Hy-Vee
"According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all adults have one or more chronic health conditions. The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans emphasize the importance of creating a healthy eating pattern that accounts for all foods and beverages within an appropriate calorie level. This includes eating a variety of vegetables (dark green, red and orange), legumes (beans and peas), starches and an assortment of fruits. By encouraging males and females of all ages to follow MyPlate recommendations of filling half their plate with a variety of fruits and vegetables, dietitians can encourage healthy lifestyles and help reduce the risk of disease."
Your non-veggie marketers can get in on this audience too! AudienceSCAN research reveals that 10.9% of Full-Time Students plan to purchase bicycles; 9.3% will buy home exercise/fitness equipment; and 7.9% want fitness tracking bands, watches or other wearables.