Sales of natural foods that can be stored in the cupboard are gaining traction, as worried consumers seek out longer-life snacks and cooking ingredients.
One versatile example is dried fruit, with the California Prune Board (CPB) reporting a rise of 12 per cent for UK imports of prunes in recent months. It’s an uplift reflected across several of the CPB’s international markets, and one which is set to continue, according to Director of International Marketing and Communications, Esther Ritson-Elliott.
With reports from US retailers that shelves have been cleared of dried fruit, it’s an unprecedented situation reflected across the CPB’s other markets, including Japan and Italy, as consumers look to stock up their pantries.
Esther says: “In these worrying times, consumers are stocking up on essentials which are shelf stable, especially those which can be used in a number of ways. With three prunes equivalent to one of your five a day fruit and vegetable intake, California Prunes can be a useful boost if fresh produce is difficult to get hold of. They are high in fibre, so they’re a great way to get your daily intake, plus they’re versatile enough to be eaten as a snack and used as an ingredient in both sweet and savoury dishes.”
Prunes have low moisture levels, which means they can be stored in the cupboard for up to a year. The CPB regularly invests in scientific research to support the nutritional and health benefits of eating California Prunes, including their role in normal bowel function, and studies are currently exploring their role in bone health. Prunes are also a source of Vitamin B6 and copper, which can help maintain a normal, healthy immune system, as well as manganese which, together with copper, contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.
Esther adds: “In the current climate, as consumers stock up, dried fruits like California Prunes are more appealing than ever. There is an abundance of scientific evidence that shows California Prunes are a wise choice for a convenient snack or a versatile cooking ingredient, with their large size and succulent texture making them a delicious and nutritious option.”
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ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA PRUNE BOARD
Created in 1952, The California Prune Board aims to amplify the premium positioning and top-of-mind awareness of California Prunes through advertising, public relations, promotion, nutrition research, crop management and sustainability research, and issues management. The California Prune Board represents approximately 800 prune growers and 28 prune, juice, and ingredient handlers under the authority of the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture.
 Source: USDA FAS Exports, using US Census Bureau Trade Data, crop year August 2019-January 2020, vs same period prior year
 California Prunes should be enjoyed as part of a balanced and varied diet and a healthy lifestyle.
 100g daily contributes to normal bowel function.
 Prunes are high in vitamin K and are a source of manganese, which contribute to the maintenance of normal bones.
 Prunes are a source of vitamin B6 and copper, which contribute to the normal function of the immune system.
 Prunes are a source of copper and manganese, which contribute to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.