UK consumers are being encouraged to improve their health by including more raisins in their diets as part of a South African industry campaign.
Raisins are a natural health powerhouse and are packed full of nutrients including fibre, iron, calcium and antioxidants. The fact that most of the water is extracted from dried fruits means their nutrients are concentrated, and a further benefit comes from the fact that just a 30g portion counts as one of your 5 A Day, compared to 80g of fresh fruit.
Trade body Raisins SA is looking to spread the word about these and other benefits, as well as correcting misconceptions around raisins and dental health. It comes as health studies recommend switching from confectionery and biscuits to consuming more dried and fresh fruit, with versatile raisins offering plentiful ways to be incorporated in diets.
The public perception that raisins should only be eaten at mealtimes has been cast into doubt with recent research showing dried fruit are not more detrimental to dental health than fresh fruits and vegetables. Further studies highlight the fact that raisin consumers’ sugar intake is actually lower as the dried fruit replaces other sugary snacks and added sugars in their diets.
Raisins SA’s UK campaign both promotes the benefits of South African product as well as the health credentials of raisins generally. It highlights how raisins fit into the current trend for plant-based diets as an alternative to meat, as well as underlining producers’ sustainability efforts on the farm.
The promotional push includes organic content and advertising on social media channels, aiming to inspire consumers to incorporate South African raisins in their diets through beautiful imagery and delicious recipes.
The initiative comes at a time of increasing raisin production in South Africa. The 2022 crop is estimated at 67 thousand tonnes, up from 59 thousand tonnes when the campaign kicked off.
Ferdie Botha, chief executive of Raisins SA, said: “We hope to inspire UK consumers to see raisins as a delicious, healthy product that is easy to incorporate into their diets. Over the years there has been a lot of misunderstanding around the raisins and their sugar content, but we want to reassure consumers of the wide-ranging and positive health benefits of eating these delicious products.”