Raisins are full of nutrients and should be eaten more, according to a South African industry campaign which aims to encourage UK consumers to eat more raisins.
Besides being a “natural health powerhouse”, raisins contain fibre, iron, calcium and antioxidants. Because most water is extracted from raisins the nutrients are concentrated, and 30g of raisins count as your five a day.
South African trade body Raisins SA is striving to spread awareness of raisins and their benefits, including correcting misconceptions around raisins and dental health. This comes in the wake of health studies recommending switching from confectionery and biscuits to dried and fresh fruit.
Recent research has shown dried fruit is not more detrimental to dental health than fresh fruit and vegetables; other studies have highlighted that the for people who eat raisins, their sugar intake is lower, as the dried fruit replaces other sugary snacks in their diets.
The campaign both promotes the benefits of raisins as well as their health credentials more generally. Raisins can fit into the trend for plant-based diets as an alternative to meat. The push includes organic content and advertising on social media to inspire consumers to incorporate South African raisins in their diets through imagery and recipes.
This comes at a time of increasing raisin production in South Africa. The 2022 yield is estimated at 67,000 tonnes, up from 59,000. South African raisins are produced in the Orange and Olifants river regions, with the Northern Cape Province accounting for 88% of total annual production.
“We hope to inspire UK consumers to see raisins as a delicious, healthy product that is easy to incorporate into their diets. Over the years there has been a lot of misunderstanding around the raisins and their sugar content, but we want to reassure consumers of the wide-ranging and positive health benefits of eating these delicious products,” concluded Ferdie Botha, Chief Executive of Raisins SA.
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