Wal-Mart has predicted record-breaking grapefruit sales, with Americans embarking on post-Christmas healthy eating habits.
Four days into the New Year, the supermarket giant has seen a surge in grapefruit sales.
January sales, which are anticipated to set a new record, have already seen a more than 15 percent increase in bagged grapefruit sales compared to same store sales during this time last year.
With a year-to-date (beginning 2/1/2006) increase of more than 45 percent in large bulk grapefruit sales, this may indicate that, more than ever, Americans are trying to keep their health and wellness resolutions.
Perhaps these high sales numbers come as no surprise, considering 2007's most popular New Year's resolution was to achieve a healthier lifestyle by eating better and exercising.
In addition, there have been a number of recent studies supporting the health properties of the citrus fruit. Wal-Mart said that a study currently being conducted by researchers at the George Washington University, although not completed, is already making news through suggestions that eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice could assist weight loss.
This comes after American and Chinese researchers reported that one specific flavonoid, naringenin, has anti-cancer effects beyond that of an antioxidant (Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Vol. 17, pp. 89-95). Grapefruit contain flavonoids, which have received much attention because of their ability to scavenge free radicals.
Another study from Israeli scientists reported that eating a red grapefruit daily could lower blood cholesterol by 15 per cent (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published on-line, doi:10.1021/jf058171g).
"The popularity of grapefruit, along with diet category products like SlimFast, is a strong indication that our customers are interested in selections that support a healthy lifestyle," said Ron McCormick, Wal-Mart's vice president of produce.
"We're hoping these sales trends signify that our shoppers will stick to their healthy resolutions and beat the statistics claiming one-third of all resolutions are broken within a week."