It has been hard to miss the reports that ‘7-a-day fruit and veg saves lives’, which is based on a diet and lifestyle study of 65,226 men and women by The University College London. The evidence seems to stack up, with experts citing that the more fruit and vegetables people ate, the less likely they were to die.

As consumers we’ve become well accustomed to the ‘5-a-day’ message, and children and adults alike are wholly aware of the health benefits this can bring. So what happens if the new advice is taken to heart, what does this mean for shoppers as well as the retailers and brands that work in the category?

There’s no avoiding the fact that keeping a stock of fresh fruit and vegetable requires frequent shopping trips, and so we may start to see wider adoption of smaller more regular grocery shops, replacing the common ‘big weekly shop’. This potential change in shopping habits may also boost sales for smaller local independent stores as consumers look to buy fruit and veg more regularly and seek convenience.

The need for convenience to meet busy lifestyles offers further opportunities for retailers such as handy 7-a-day packs featuring a collection of fruit or pre-prepared vegetable offerings that make it easy for mum to cook her family healthy meals.

While very little fresh fruit and veg is branded, the new guidelines could open new doors for brands of preserved fruit and veg. Canned, dried and frozen varieties, including pulses, have also been highlighted as offering a health boost so we could see significant growth in these areas and there are certainly opportunities for these brands to promote healthy eating messages on their packs and offer special promotions.

Similar opportunities are open to brands of fruit juice and ready meals, who would also be more likely to further raise the prominence of fruit and veg on their packs.

The new guidelines could also impact the way fruit and veg is promoted. For example, we could start to see promotional offers on buying ‘7 for 4’; replacing the well recognised ‘3 for 2’. And recipe cards in supermarkets and grocery stores could be more fruit and veg orientated.

It will be interesting to see how the story unfolds, and if the study has any long-term impact on society.

Some brands and retailers may already be planning to piggyback the hype, making hay while the sun shines in the short-term, and in the coming weeks we may see more promotions and in-store marketing related to increasing consumption of fruit and veg.

Longer-term the idea will certainly need wide backing, and a fundamental change in consumer buying behaviour to make any lasting impression. This could present the barrier to adoption, as the government has already made clear, many of us struggle to even achieve the daily ‘5-a-day’ recommendation.

Adam Tregaskis is head of retail at The Market Creative