5 Colors. 5 Cups. Every Day.

Ever notice how colorful the produce section of your supermarket is? This beauty is more than just skin deep. There’s a lot going on inside those fruits and veggies: they’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients—the plant compounds that bring many, vital health benefits. It’s the stuff your body needs for better health and to reduce your risk of chronic disease. And the way to get it all is to eat all your colors: about 2 cups of fruit, and 3 cups of vegetables. That’s 5 colorful cups every day. Your body will thank you.

Why Is This So Important?

Eating more fruits and veggies is the most widely accepted dietary prescription for better health. Yet Americans still eat far less than the recommended 5 cups a day. Making this one change in your diet could make a critical difference in your life. It’s important to remember: 5 Colors. 5 Cups. Every Day. For Better Health.

With The Color Way™ You’ll Be On Your Way.

Start learning about the important health benefits associated with each color group. Use the simple, colorful and powerful tools from The Color Way to plan your shopping The Color Way. Begin tracking your progress to better health, and reward yourself along the way for staying involved and moving toward your goal.

Introducing: The Color Way™

The Color Way Takes On the Challenge of Increasing Per Capita Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables.

For more than two decades, Americans have been preached to and educated about eating more fruits and vegetables for better health. Increasing fruit and vegetables consumption has been one of the leading recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines For Americans (DGAs), as well as from most major health-promotion organizations in America—for a very long time.

So, what has actually happened to consumption?

Sadly, not much, even though people say the #1 reason for eating fruits and vegetables is “to stay healthy.”  In spite of all the well-intended, public- and nonprofit-sector programs, Americans have been stuck at about 1.8 cups a day for two decades…barely more than one-third of the DGA recommendations

The DGA Recommendation That Few Really Know.

So, what are the recommendations for fruits and vegetables? Most people’s knowledge of the actual recommendations is probably quite low.  Ask yourself—or family and friends— this question: “For an average American consuming somewhere between 2,000 and 2,400 calories a day, what is the daily DGA-recommended amount of fruits and vegetables for better health?”  Chances are high the answer will be some number with the word “servings” after it. Like: “5 servings a day,” or “5 to 9 servings”, or even “9 to 13 servings.”

First, “servings” as a dietary measurement term for fruits and vegetables is no longer relevant. The DGAs began phasing out the term “servings” for fruits and veggies in 2005, and now speak only in “cups.” There is a reason for that. People know what a cup is.

The answer to the earlier question is…about 5 cups a day…2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables. Again, That’s 5 cups a day. Familiar ring, right?  But that’s fully two times the amount communicated in the old “5 servings a day” message many people still think about (the old “serving” is half a cup). Critically important, 5 cups a day is nearly 3 times more than the 1.8 cups Americans are eating on average every day. That may sound daunting, but it’s real.

  • F=Fruit
  • V=Vegetable
  • * See MyPlate.gov
  • **Source: 2010 State of the Plate, PBH

How do we help Americans nearly triple the amount of fruits and vegetables that they are buying and eating today…given that people usually need motivation and guidance to reach a goal that involves such a tough, but important challenge?

Introducing The Color Way. 5 Colors. 5 Cups. Everyday.

It’s time to take on this challenge. It’s time for a simple and engaging marketing solution with a focus on communicating and achieving the ambitious “5 Cups a Day” goal.   

The Color Way is a color-guided, goal-oriented, marketing initiative designed to actively engage people in buying and eating a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables in all forms, so they can reach 5 Cups a Day for better health. With its 5-Color Guide, and its Daily Engagement Tools™—The Color Way will change the way people think about buying and eating fruits and vegetables.

Changing the Way People Think About Fruits and Vegetables.

The Color Way is now on a mission to increase daily consumption of fruits and veggies to 5 Cups a Day by changing the way people think about fruits and veggies in their daily lives through simple, “doable” marketing strategies.

These 5 simple, but critical marketing elements give The Color Way its foundation for success:

  1. Leverage the perceived health benefits—with “to stay healthy” the #1 reason people eat fruits and vegetables.
  2. Communicate and focus on the 5 Cups A Day goal.
  3. Innovatively integrate the now-well-publicized, science-based, 5-color system created by The Color Way founders.
  4. Help position and promote America’s supermarkets and dietitians as “the architects of healthy choices.”
  5. Use the Daily Tools of Engagement™ to insure that colorful fruits and vegetables are top-of-mind, each and every day, with shoppers and consumers.

Color Is The Guide.  Engagement is the Key.

The key strategy in The Color Way initiative is daily, active engagement through color. The well-publicized, science-based, 5-color guidance system, originally developed by the founders of The Color Way, forms the mechanism that guides consumers in shopping for, and eating, a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables. The variety in the 5 color groups (red, yellow-orange, white-brown, green, and blue-purple) signals the full spectrum of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and colorful phytochemicals that are necessary for daily nutrition and long-term health. It is almost impossible to eat something from each of the 5 color groupings without increasing variety and quantity.

The concept of daily active engagement is woven into the key messaging of The Color Way initiative. Both in-store andoutside of the shopping environment, The Color Way Daily Tools of Engagement™ use the 5-color system to guide the “colorful pathway to purchase” and help make it easier—and more fun—to plan, buy, eat, and then track colors and cups every day. The Color Way motivates and activates consumer commitment to the 5 Cups a Day goal.

retail kioskSupermarkets: The “Architects of Healthy Choices.”

Because about 70%-80% of all fruits and vegetables consumed today in all their forms—fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100% juice—are either eaten or prepared at home, then America’s supermarkets have a major opportunity to change the way people shop for and eat fruits and vegetables. If supermarkets are, indeed, the “architects of choice,” as proclaimed by Sam Kass, executive director of Let’s Move, then they are in the best position to make eating 5 cups of fruits and vegetables every day an ever-present message through a well-designed shopper-marketing strategy. With over 400 million shopping occasions every week, at over 36,000 retail outlets, supermarkets, especially those with Registered Dietitians on staff, can do more than other organizations, institutions or agencies to educate, influence, and guide shoppers toward the achievement of 5 Cups a Day for better health.

Mission: The Color Way To 5 Cups A Day.

The mission of The Color Way is simple and clear…help get Americans to the 5 Cups a Day goal. Success will be determined based on measurable gains in per capita consumption of fruits and vegetables…in all their forms. Success will also be measured through the economic impact, and the benefits for many business and public health interests resulting from a doubling or tripling of fruits and vegetables consumption.

In preparing to bring its initiative to the marketplace, The Color Way previewed its concepts and tools before thousands of Registered Dietitians and food industry professionals at the annual Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Food and Nutrition Conference. With highly encouraging and valuable feedback, the initiative has moved into final development stages. The Color Way is now working to identify partnerships with supermarkets, produce suppliers, dietitians, health organizations, and others that recognize the important need and opportunity—and share the commitment—to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables to the 5 Cups a Day goal.

The The Color Way is a division of the Food and Wellness Group, a brand development and marketing firm. Company principals, John Sauve and David Swardlick, created the original 5-color guidance system for fruits and veggies called The Color Way, introduced as a national campaign by the Produce for Better Health Foundation in 2003. The marketing team developed and launched the breakthrough antioxidant-based marketing strategy and health campaign that  repositioned Wild Blueberries “from something in a muffin to a health icon. The Color Way™ is trademark of the Food and Wellness Group.

OK. You’re in the produce section of your supermarket, surrounded by colorful fruits and veggies with all their natural health benefits. So how do you decide which foods to choose in order to get the full range of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients you need for a healthy daily diet? Simple. Use the Shop By Color Cuide.

Think color

Fruits and veggies have the helpful habit of coming in a rainbow of colors. When you’re filling your shopping cart or basket, check that you have all 5 color groups covered: red, orange/yellow, white/tan, green, blue/purple. This way, you’ll bring home what you need to make healthy, colorful meals and snacks—foods that will help you reach the important goal of eating 5 cups of fruits and vegetables every day.

Kids love color

Shopping for a household? Challenge your kids (or your spouse or your roommate) to find just one fruit or vegetable from each color group to put in your shopping basket. It’s a fun way to expand the palette—and the palate—and put more colorful variety on your plate.

Simple truth

If you eat something from every color group, chances are you’ll be getting more fruits and veggies into your daily diet than you are now. And that’s a good thing. As you move closer to the 5 cups a day goal, your body will thank you.

When you Shop the Color Way, it’s easy to get the wide spectrum of fruits and veggies into your grocery cart–and into your daily diet. That means you’ll also be getting the wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients you need for better health.  Make sure your shopping list contains all five colors.

Red Fruits and Vegetables

  • Apples, Red
  • Raspberries
  • Radish
  • Rhubarb

Yellow/Orange Fruits and Vegetables

  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes

White Fruits and Vegetables

  • Bananas
  • Brown Pears
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms

Green Fruits and Vegetables

  • Green Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans

Blue/Purple Fruits and Vegetables

  • Blackberries
  • Purple Cabbage
  • Eggplant

We'd love to hear from you. Let us know what you think of The Color Way initiative. Tell us how we may be most helpful to you.

If you wish to reach us by email, please drop us a note at: info@foodandwellnessgroup.com

  • The Color Way
  • Div. of Food and Wellness Group
  • PO Box 7240
  • Portland, Maine 04112