FPFC and Produce For Better Health Attend The California Grocers Association Strategic Conference

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – The Fresh Produce & Floral Council (FPFC) attended the California Grocers Association (CGA) Strategic Conference on Monday, September 27th, 2021. The FPFC, in partnership with CGA and Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), held two Whiteboard Sessions titled, “Tapping Into Consumers’ Desires Around the Plan Forward Movement with Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, PBH President and CEO.

The Whiteboard Sessions were “loose, free-flowing sessions designed to get the conversations flowing. In two, energizing sessions facilitated by industry veterans, the discussions allow you to learn, share and contribute to industry best practices.”

The sessions started with having each attendee introduce themselves and giving a brief introduction and description of their company. There were many dynamic conversations with session attendees, including retailer leaders from Gelson’s Markets and those from independent retailer as well as suppliers such as The Wonderful Company.

Wendy then moved on to discuss the PBH Have A Plant® campaign, the worth of the plant forward market and the fact that “fruits and vegetables are the plants that no one is eating enough of.” She then posed the question “How do retailers and suppliers make fruit and veggie consumption habitual?”

Wendy discussed the importance of in-store placement and displays as well as the unlimited opportunities in online to cross-merchandise with emphasis on one-click meal solutions where e-commerce shoppers can have those items automatically appear in their cart.

Wendy expressed, “If we want people to consume more fruits and veggies, we have to make it easy and pleasurable so they want to repeat that experience. We must emotionally connect with consumers to drive fruit and vegetable consumption habits so that these habits become automatic—essentially ‘first’ nature.” 

Wendy also explained the differences between fruits and veggies, why they have different personalities and which emotions consumers gravitate toward for each. She further stated that, according to PBH research, consumers that eat more fruits and veggies per week, also eat more within those days; in addition, these same consumers report higher ratings of overall life satisfaction and happiness.

On the partnership with FPFC, Doug Scholz, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at CGA said, “It was great to be able to feature these plant-first perspectives at the CGA Strategic Conference. We challenge ourselves to develop educational content for conference attendees that expands their thinking, and FPFC has helped us build a better understanding of the produce world within our grocery community.

FPFC 2021 Chairman Sean McClure of Professional Produce stated “This was a great conference that fostered collaboration and sharing of ideas with retail executives, and companies in the Fresh Produce and Floral industry. We look forward to continuing to offer our members expanded relations within this connection to benefit each association.

The FPFC is grateful to our partners that made this session possible, the California Grocers Association, Produce for Better Health Foundation, and the FPFC’s Collaboration Taskforce Members.