Have A Plant Reaches Millions of Consumers During The Consumer Connection Conference Where Produce Industry Marketers Ignite Meaningful Relationships With Consumer Influencers 

Washington, D.C. – The Foundation for Fresh Produce wrapped its 2024 Consumer Connection Conference in Phoenix, Ariz., which is the only event that celebrates and focuses on the consumer. Celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Have A Plant® movement, attendees gathered to collaborate on ways to grow a healthier world, which is the mission of The Foundation for Fresh Produce. 

Alex DiNovo, Chair of The Foundation kicked off the event, speaking to the urgency of breaking down barriers to fruit and vegetable access. “We must continue to empower individuals with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their health,” DiNovo said. “We must continue to speak to the versatility, flavor, and variety that produce possesses. We must continue to advocate for policies that promote access to fruits and vegetables in underserved communities. And most importantly, we must lead by example and show the world what is possible when we prioritize our health and well-being.” 

The Consumer Connection Conference agenda was jam-packed full of inspirational education sessions, receptions featuring produce pairings and fun and innovative food hacks, and the event’s signature 1 to 1 meetings, where produce marketers and industry leaders could meet with the influencer VIP retail dietitians, foodservice tastemakers, and nutrition, lifestyle, and agricultural communicators in attendance.  

Keynote speaker, Grammy-award winning singer/songwriter Jimmy Yeary, led attendees on a storytelling journey, detailing how each person’s life experiences and details can be used to craft impactful stories to drive connection, both personally and professionally. 

Consumer research was a central focus of the conference as Lauren M. Scott, Executive Director of The Foundation for Fresh Produce, led attendees on a deep dive on leveraging consumer behaviors gleaned from a combination of census and sales data with regional data.   

“This event is amazing at bringing all the people together talking about business and really putting the consumer at the heart, which is what we need to do if we want to change the trajectory of human health and increase consumption of fruits and vegetables,” Scott said. 

Between the influencers in attendance as well as through its own social media channels, positive fruit and veggie messaging, produce hacks and beautiful inspiration were shared beyond the conference walls, reaching millions of consumers.  

“This event is unique because it lends an opportunity to not only discuss consumer trends and behaviors with each other, but also to reach them in real time with hacks and ideas coming straight from the attendee experience,” says Katie Calligaro, director of Marketing & Communications for The Foundation for Fresh Produce. “It is designed to unify messaging and is the place to be for any marketer or anyone talking directly to consumers across various points of influence.”  

There will be more opportunities to connect with foodservice tastemakers, industry marketers, retail dietitians, and other Have A Plant® influencers across the supply chain at upcoming IFPA events, including July’s Foodservice Conference in Monterey, Calif. and October’s Global Produce & Floral Show in Atlanta, Ga. 

For more information on The Foundation for Fresh Produce and to support and learn more about their mission to change the trajectory of human health by increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, please visit https://www.freshproduce.com/foundation  

About the Foundation for Fresh Produce

The Foundation for Fresh Produce’s vision is to grow a healthier world by changing the trajectory of human health. We believe the produce industry has the potential to provide solutions for many of the world’s greatest health and economic challenges – especially those surrounding nutrition and hunger. The Foundation focuses on improving the appeal of fruits and vegetables as an integral part of people’s diets, supporting the development of infrastructure and supply chain solutions that provide easier access, and establishing strategic alliances that enable children and families to form healthier eating habits. To galvanize the industry’s efforts to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, the Foundation for Fresh Produce merged with the Produce For Better Health Foundation (PBH) in January 2023. PBH programming (inclusive of the Have A Plant® Movement) continues under The Foundation, dedicated to helping consumers live happier, healthy lives by eating more fruits and vegetables every single day.