Highlighting the fruit can possibly double sales in school cafeteria

By utilizing smarter lunchroom strategies, sales of healthy food options can increase in the school lunchroom.

According to the USDA MyPlate, two to three cups of fruits and vegetables should be consumed each day in order to get all of the important vitamins and minerals they provide your body. How can school personnel assist students in meeting this recommendation? With a few simple changes, school food service staff can create a Smarter Lunchroom that promotes fruit selection and quite possibly double sales. Here are a few tips:

  • Display the whole fruit
    • Kids often overlook fruit because it is hard to see and reach behind sneeze guards and in a boring colored bin. Move the fruit into the spotlight! Increasing students’ exposure to fruit increases their likelihood of seeing and choosing to eat it. Place fruit in a brightly colored bowl in high traffic areas, such as near the cash register.
  • Vary the fruit
    • Giving students multiple options of fruits allows them to be in charge of their decision instead of just placing it on their tray. Use contrasting colors such as oranges and green apples.
  • Use signs and creative names
    • Possible sign locations: on a menu board (Today’s Fruit), hanging above fruit stations (Fresh fruit today), by the register (Did you grab fruit for later?)
    • Be creative! Use school colors and mascots to personalize your message: [Mascot] says don’t forget your fruit!

All of these fruit tips are low to no cost solutions to increase fruit consumption! For more information, go to the Smarter Lunchroom website or contact a Michigan State University Extension staff member in your area. Several MSU Extension staff throughout the state are certified Technical Assistance Providers for Smarter Lunchrooms and can provide additional suggestions in your school cafeteria.

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