California Prunes has launched a national campaign designed to improve trade & consumer awareness of the valuable role that prunes can play in reducing fat and sugar content in a wide range of culinary applications. PBUK looks into the “Prune It” initiative, fronted by several UK brand ambassadors, including celebrity TV chef, Rosemary Shrager.
Joining Rosemary Shrager as major prune advocates are chocolatier Paul. A. Young, TV chef, baker & founder of Simply Good Food TV Peter Sidwell and award-winning baker Peter Cook.
One part of the campaign centres on a lifestyle plan which is based on research by the University of Liverpool examining how including prunes in the diet induces feelings of fullness and stops people snacking because they still feel hungry.
It’s based on the success Shrager, who dropped three dress sizes after being diagnosed as clinically obese, had while following the regime earlier this year. Working with Jennette Higgs, registered dietitian and author of the Prune It Eating Plan from California Prunes, Shrager set about using prunes as a catalyst for healthy dieting.
The current focus for Prune is rolling out a wealth of recipes, videos and demonstrations from California Prunes’ brand ambassadors to demonstrate the culinary appeal and health benefits associated with cooking with prunes to reduce sugar and fat levels, in line with current guidance from health care professionals.
“The Prune It initiative is an umbrella campaign designed to enhance trade and consumer awareness of the clear health and nutritional benefits associated with incorporating California’s quality prunes into a variety of culinary applications,” Esther Ritson-Elliott, European Marketing Director, California Prunes, tells PBUK.
“By identifying a central theme for this year, and embracing the credible endorsement of our team of brand ambassadors, we hope to stimulate a positive buying response from food professionals and consumers, encouraging them to appreciate the powerful role that prunes can play in achieving a healthy balanced diet.
“We are developing an extensive library of Prune It recipes created by our brand ambassadors to demonstrate how healthy, appetising dishes can be made incorporating California Prunes, with no need for compromise on taste or flavour. Looking ahead, we’d like to see consumers and food professionals experimenting with their own recipes and appreciating the role that California Prunes can play in helping to reduce the fat and sugar content of a dish.”
University research on prunes
The California Prune Board commissioned research by the University of Liverpool which shows that eating the fruit in a balanced diet leads to improved feelings of satiation.
“California Prunes remains the only country of origin to regularly invest in major research to generate credible findings to underpin the health and nutritional benefits associated with prune consumption,” adds Ritson-Elliott.
“Our goal is to educate our audiences on the appeal of prunes as the only natural whole and dried fruit in Europe to achieve an authorised health claim (eating 100g California Prunes – roughly 8-12 – daily contributes to normal bowel function).
“The eating plan was designed out of the diet advice included in the Liverpool research – to avoid hunger sabotaging any weight loss plans – and could go some way to contribute towards tackling the UK’s continuing obesity problem.”
She adds how health conscious consumers in the UK are tapping into “clean eating” trends and always looking for new ingredients to contribute to well-being.
“Today’s consumers are hungry for more information to help them achieve ‘good health, betterment and wellness’ which are the newly perceived status symbols of the current self-care generation.
“Clean eating resonates with this trend and as the general public becomes better informed on the disadvantages, both nutritionally and environmentally, of heavily processed, refined foods, the desire to seek out whole foods in their natural state is becoming more acute.
“California’s 900 prune plum growers and 29 prune packers have invested over 150 years in perfecting the exceptional growing and harvesting techniques required to deliver the ultimate ‘clean’ crop.”