Trade body the Fresh Produce Consortium hopes fruit and vegetable suppliers will commit £1.8m over the next four years to the campaign, which will be designed to make consumers want to eat fresh produce, rather than feel they have to.
The concept has been devised by agency BMA Communications, which was behind a banana campaign that helped increase sales of the fruit by 150% over two decades.
BMA will not develop this campaign - it will go out to tender if the FPC gets the nod to go ahead with it from members.
However, its executives have formulated the thinking behind the Eat in Colour concept, which it believes could increase sales of fruit and veg by 5%, worth £259m a year to the industry. BMA planning director David Thornton said the Department of Health’s 5-a-day campaign played on fear and at best had only succeeded in preventing a decline in consumption, not an increase. Figures showed that consumers only consume, on average, between 2.8 and 3.7 portions per day, a figure that is remaining static year on year.
“The campaign needs to be about why consumers should eat fruit and veg, not why they shouldn’t not eat it,” he said.
Thornton said BMA had chosen the colour theme because it was unique to fruit and veg. Other foods - such as meat, dairy, pasta and rice - were fairly homogenous in their appearance.
The colour theme should be used to show consumers how eating a variety of different coloured produce could improve their health and lifestyles, he said.
FPC boss Nigel Jenney urged suppliers to support the campaign. He said the FPC would also seek EU funding.