Tomatoes have a powerful association with health and are seen as the star ingredient of the Mediterranean Diet, according to a survey by Lyocred of 329 consumers.
Survey respondents were presented with a list of 14 fruit and vegetables and asked to pick the five they most associated with health.
Green leafy vegetables, chosen by 77% of respondents, topped the poll.
Tomatoes were picked by 74% of respondents, ahead of onions, garlic and leeks (54%); citrus fruits (54%); and cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli (50%).
A total of 52% of respondents said tomatoes were among the five fruit and vegetables they would be most likely to describe as a “superfood”.
When they were asked which fruit and vegetables they most associated with the Mediterranean diet, 91% of consumers named tomatoes, ahead of peppers (81%); onions, garlic and leeks (76%); and citrus fruits (65%).
Respondents were also shown two images and asked which they most associated with the Mediterranean Diet.
The first, which featured tomatoes, olives and olive oil, was picked by 87%.
The second, which pictured olives, olive oil, fish and nuts, was chosen by only 13%.
“Our research confirms both the wellness appeal of tomatoes and their status as the star of the Mediterranean Diet,” says Zev Ziegler, head of marketing (health).
“This powerful association with one of the biggest dietary trends of our times boosts their potential in products for health-conscious consumers.”