Photo by Brenda Godinez from Unsplash

NEW YORK — Nearly half of Americans aren’t eating as many fruits and veggies as they should be, according to new research. A survey of 2,000 Americans found that although they love apples (69%), oranges (64%), and bananas (63%), 43 percent admit they don’t eat fruit on a daily basis. Similarly, while carrots were crowned America’s favorite veggie, 52 percent of those polled also skip out on vegetables regularly.

Conducted by OnePoll for plant-based milk brand, West Life Soymilk, the survey looked at how people prefer to add nutrients to their diets. Results found that nearly a tenth of respondents admit that their protein intake is too low, and 14 percent don’t even know how much protein they need.

Through survey results, respondents reported they have an easier time incorporating fruit into their diet (24%) above veggies and protein (16% each). While many get their protein through white meat (25%), red meat (19%), or fish/seafood (33%), others are open to exploring options such as plant-based milk (19%) and protein powder (15%).

“Consumers are actively seeking options for meaningful fuel that fits into their busy lives with options such as smoothies as a natural choice,” says Lauren McNamara, vice president and assistant general manager at SunOpta, makers of West Life Soymilk, in a statement. “However, not all smoothies are created equally. To ensure a balanced meal or snack it is important to seek out high protein and versatile ingredients that pack a punch in your smoothie of choice. Look out for options that provide variety of flavor, shelf-stable convenience, and complete protein when creating your favorite smoothie blends at home.”

smoothies ingredients

When it comes to the most important meal of the day, breakfast, those surveyed prioritize breakfast options that are easy to take on the go (30%) and are convenient (31%). Twenty-six percent also aim to get their protein in to kickstart their day.

Results also showed that smoothies are on the rise as a way for respondents to get their nutrients in, with half of those surveyed sharing they drink at least one smoothie a week (51%). According to respondents, if you’re still hungry after a smoothie, you’re not doing it right — 43 percent said they feel full after a fruit-filled smoothie, and another 51 percent end up craving one again the next day.

Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed agreed that they could replace some of their meals with smoothies, especially if they kept them full. To make the perfect smoothie blend, some respondents admit that they replicate smoothie recipes they see on social media (53%), and 75 percent said that social media or seeing a celebrity with a particular smoothie would make them more likely to try it out.

When it comes to the anatomy of what makes for a “perfect smoothie,” honey (32%), yogurt (32%), bananas (26%), chocolate (25%), plant-based milk (24%), strawberries (23%), and plant-based protein powder (21%) make up some of the top selections. A majority of smoothie drinkers also said they’d be interested in adding plant-based milk if it boosted their protein intake (78%).

“With the emergence of social media trends and celeb favorite recipes we are seeing a comeback of products that help create a balanced, high protein meal, ranging from soymilk to cottage cheese,” McNamara continues. “We are excited to see consumers experiment with these newfound ingredients to fuel their day and create their own favorite recipes, perfect for a snack or meal replacement.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 general population Americans was commissioned by West Life™ Soymilk between June 22 and June 27, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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  1. Michelle Setaro says:

    Plantbased and loving it. I feel GREAT

  2. Linda Pemberton says:

    I stopped consuming animal based products, especially dairy and egg and I feel so much better after I stopped eating the brainwashed western diet of bacon and eggs. They make killer vegan bacon and eggs. I am minimizing my chance of stroke, cancers, or Heart attacks. And I love all the food now. Even the vegan cheeses rock now!

  3. Jan says:

    The population is studied like lab rats! lol

  4. Debra says:

    How about these items are expensive, seniors can’t always afford more than a couple veggies plus the other items needed. Good for UPS making 6 figure incomes ,that just falls on us, there going to raise the price of packages. Good job

    1. Michelle Pope says:

      Oh come on. I live on disability, and have more bills than you can shake a stick at. All it takes is some creative planning, instead of negative complaining. Try adding some of the items, like maybe a jar of honey or a bottle of protein, or a bag of frozen sliced strawberries, instead of an extra case of soda or bottle of shampoo. Next check, do the same, before you know it, you are on your way to a smoothie a day!
      Wake up each day looking for the positives instead of the negatives, and your day will go so much better. Who know the new things you will try, and the new heights you will go! Good luck!