LONDON — Can you tell an apple from a mango? Seems easy enough, but for a whopping 40 percent of people in the United Kingdom, it’s apparently quite the head-scratcher. In fact, fruit identification poses a great challenge for many people, according to the results of a new survey.
Yeo Valley, a family-owned dairy and yogurt company in England, commissioned a poll of 2,000 adults in the UK to test their knowledge of common, and not-so-common produce. The results were more stunning than many might expect.
Among the findings, 70% of respondents couldn’t tell the difference between a tangerine and an orange or clementine, and 20% didn’t know a tangerine from a grapefruit. A third had no idea what a fig looked like, and 1 in 10 “were perplexed” by a pomegranate.
And we hope they were kidding at the time, but 7% of respondents guessed “Halle Berry” when shown a mulberry.
Dan Rusga, marketing director for Yeo Valley, says the company sought to see how well people knew their fruits ahead of the release of their new yogurt with baobab, a lesser-known citrus fruit found in Africa and Australia that is typically served in powder form. Only a quarter of respondents recognized the baobab.
“We knew that baobab might not be well known when we added it to our yogurt. But we were very surprised by the number of people mixing up apples and mangos, it’s tough to compare apples with apples when you’re looking at a mango,” he admits Rusga in a release.
Knowing whether a food was a fruit or vegetable also posed a challenge. Three-quarters of those surveyed thought olives and pumpkins were vegetables, while 40% thought the same about an avocado.
Meanwhile, where fruit comes from was just as difficult for plenty of people.
Half didn’t know that pomegranates grow on trees, and slightly less were surprised to learn watermelons are born on the ground. Similarly, about 30% never knew blueberries grew on bushes, while 20% correctly identified pineapples as fruits that come from the ground.
“If most people don’t know pineapples grow on the ground then this is a story we should be sharing with our customers,” says Rusga.
With all the confusion, it doesn’t seem so surprising that more than 15% said they don’t each fruit on a daily basis, and more than one in five admitted they weren’t well-versed in basic fruit knowledge.
As for the most unidentifiable fruit in the survey? That award goes to the feijoa, with just 15% of those surveyed correctly naming it.
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