Majority of Brits do not understand benefits of ‘superfood'

31 May 2016 by
Majority of Brits do not understand benefits of ‘superfood'

The term ‘superfood' has been used in culinary circles for almost a decade, but research has found the majority of the population does not understand the so-called benefits.

The study by Fry's Family Foods discovered 42% of Britons cannot tell a spiraliser from spirulina, while almost two-thirds know quinoa is a healthy source of protein, but most still can't pronounce it.

A quarter of us have no idea about wholegrains, with many suggesting popcorn might be one.

Health experts have branded the word superfood as a marketing tool, with little scientific basis; preferring to promote a balanced diet.

Yet despite this and the public's lack of understanding, sales of superfoods have continued to increase.

According to the study, 80% of the population can correctly identify flaxseed as a superfood, but more than half (51%) have no idea why it is classed as such.

Green smoothies may have become a favourite in social media feeds, but 78% of people confessed to being unsure as to why it is meant to epitomise clean eating and drinking.

The study also found that 53% of Brits believe it is impossible for vegetarians and vegans to consume the recommended daily amount of protein, despite 31% not actually knowing where protein comes from.

A further 32% could only identify chicken as a source of protein, discounting options such as spinach broccoli and hemp seeds, which have more protein gram for gram than steak or chicken.

While 60% said they had not cut down their meat intake in the last two years, because they assumed vegetarians to be less healthy than those who eat meat.

Tammy Fry, international marketing director of Fry's Family Foods, said: "It's surprisingly easy, varied and delicious for a vegan/vegetarian diet to meet the daily recommendations for protein, as long as calorie intake is adequate.

She added: "With no medical or legal definition as to what counts as a superfood, it's unsurprising that we don't always understand their health benefits. It is important however, that we don't just follow the latest food trends but actually take the time to understand how and why the likes of kale and quinoa are valuable to our health so that they become an integral part of our diet in the future."

Fry's Family Foods, which formed in 1992, produces a range of frozen vegetarian and vegan products.

Meat-free options attract young diners, survey finds >>

Lexington launches Grains & Greens vegetarian range >

Lexington and Compass win best-in-class silver at Hospitality Show Superfood Challenge >>

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