UK consumers are being encouraged to improve their health by including more raisins in their diets as part of a South African industry campaign.
Trade body Raisins South Africa is looking to spread the word about the fruit’s benefits, as well as correcting misconceptions around raisins and dental health. It comes after health studies concluded that switching from confectionery and biscuits to dried and fresh fruit was an effective way of improving dietary and dental habits.
One study highlighted the fact that raisin consumers’ sugar intake is significantly lower as the dried fruit serves to replace more sugary snacking alternatives. This switch encourages consumers to adopt a more balanced and nutritious diet without denying them of sweet treats. Meanwhile, the dated perception that raisins should only be eaten at mealtimes has been cast into doubt with recent research showing dried fruits are no more detrimental to dental health than fresh fruits and vegetables.
The initiative comes at a time of increasing raisin production in South Africa. The 2022 crop is estimated at 67,000 tonnes, up from 59,000 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.”