BRADENTON, Fla. -- Shoppers perceive orange juice and broccoli as the most effective foods in reducing the risk of disease, according to a national survey by HealthFocus, based here.
The survey of more than 2,000 grocery shoppers resulted in a tie between orange juice and broccoli as the most sought-after healthful foods.
About 56% of those surveyed said they try to consume more of these foods based on the belief that they are the best foods to consume in their effort to reduce the risk of disease.
Respondents cited broccoli and orange juice more than any other food, followed by spinach, tomatoes, garlic and oat bran.
The survey's findings indicate that consumers are well aware of the reported health benefits associated with eating broccoli. When they were asked how much they have heard or read about the link between broccoli and cancer prevention, 23% responded "a lot," while 39% responded "some."
In the juice category, consumers said they are also well aware of health benefits tied to orange juice. The survey found that nine out of 10 households drink orange juice and more than 50% drink it at least twice a week. It also revealed that one out of two households drink calcium-fortified orange juice, with 21% of households consuming it at least twice a week.
Also, 18% of the respondents "strongly believe" and 54% "believe" that orange juice is an excellent source of vitamin C, and 13% strongly believe and 35% believe that it is a good source of folate, an anti-oxidant that may help in fighting cancer.
Other results derived from the survey show 52% of consumers committing to a diet that includes eating more fruit and vegetables. The new commitment replaces the previous goal of a reduced-fat diet, which dropped to fourth place on the consumers' dietary to-do list.
In addition, when consumers were asked to rank the healthiest food brands, 54% put oatmeal manufacturer Quaker at the top of their list. Quaker was followed a number of other food-industry heavyweights, including orange juice maker Tropicana (53%), low-fat foods leader Healthy Choice (47%), vegetable marketer Green Giant (44%) and the Kraft Free division of Kraft Foods (41%).
In examining the power of brands, the survey found that consumers choose taste over nutritional value when choosing what label to purchase.