Produce for Better Health Foundation Convenes Industry and Influencers During Engaging Two-Day Have a Plant Nation Virtual Event

The Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) closed out National Fruits & Veggies Month with its first-ever virtual influencer event held September 29-30, 2020. Fifty-plus VIPs spanning three points of influence: 1) point-of-sale (retail), 2) point-of-service (foodservice), and 3) point-of-inspiration (online) met with select sponsors, satisfying the strong desire for meaningful, memorable connectivity. According to those who attended, PBH’s Have A Plant® Nation Virtual Influencer Event provided stimulating education and actionable solutions with a keen focus on inspiring consumers’ fruit and vegetable consumption.
“We surveyed our members and our vast influencer network and knew that we had to do something more than just a Zoom call or webinar. The PBH Have A Plant® Nation Virtual Influencer Event served as a new and innovative pilot approach to connect the produce industry with influencers in lieu of PBH’s traditional in-person events,” said Sharese Roper, Member Engagement Director of PBH. “Thanks to our powerful sponsors and produce industry leaders, PBH delivered meaningful sessions that integrated facts, food and fun.” 

“In true PBH fashion, our diverse and highly-engaging event agenda exceeded expectations,” stated Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, President and CEO of PBH. “Our interactive sessions and experiential tasting experiences, balanced with crucial conversations on food safety and the state of consumers’ consumption habits provided unique opportunities to learn from one another’s experiences and perspectives – ultimately inspiring action among attendees.”
Specifically, the PBH event closing session, titled Lead The Change from Seed to Plate: Produce Industry Leader Insights and Inspiration, included industry titans and trailblazers who shared their thoughts on how influencers can make a difference in closing the consumption gap and truly changing behavior. Led by PBH’s President and CEO, Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, the conversation was dynamic, genuine and packed with candor.

“Don’t be afraid to be outrageous,” said Karen Caplan, President and CEO of Frieda’s, Inc.

“Listen to consumers first, and each other,” said Harry Overly, President and CEO of Sun-Maid Growers of California.

“Use your voice and your platforms to gain consumer insights; remember that this is a two-way communication channel,” said Mark Campion, President, Taylor Farms Retail, Inc.

“Just imagine,” said Bil Goldfield, Director of Corporate Communications for Dole Food Company and PBH Chairman of the Board. “Imagine a world where everyone is eating more fruits and vegetables. The time is now – this is our moment – where we can truly make a difference and help increase consumption. But we can only do it together,” he said.

Attendees expressed their enthusiasm utilizing live virtual chat feeds throughout the event, as well as on their own social media channels. Sponsors saw their products flooding Instagram, and PBH’s social media channels were busting at the seams with content before, during and after the event, reaching millions of consumers with powerful fruit and veggie messages and insights.

“The online engagement was the best I’ve seen from something virtual,” said Chef Todd Fisher, Duda Culinary Ambassador, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, following the culinary session on Tuesday.

“I just wanted to thank you for the most fun I have had in a virtual meeting. You all did an amazing job making the event interesting and fast-paced,” said Sanna Delmonico, MS, RDN, CHE, Associate Professor, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone. “I am cooking my way through all these delicious fruits and vegetables and will continue to post about it. Hearing stories about produce varieties, growing, processing, food safety, and more is so compelling, and you all put them together seamlessly. Well done!”

“PBH would like to thank our powerful sponsors for making this momentous event possible,” says Roper. “At a time when Americans simply are not eating enough fruits and vegetables, these trailblazers are taking a leap for their business to evolve their marketing programs and meet the demands of a new virtual world. We can’t wait to see the engagement and refreshed approaches resulting from this event.”
California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement
Chelan Fresh Marketing
Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc.
HZPC Americas Corp.
Dole Food Company
California Strawberries
Pacific Coast Producers
Seneca Foods Corporation
Stemilt Growers LLC
Chilean Fresh Fruit Association
Michigan Apple Commission
Naturipe Farms LLC
Ventura Foods/Marie’s
For a full list of all 50+ influencers, representing retail, foodservice and the PBH Fruit and Vegetable Ambassadors in Action (FVAA) Influencer Network, in attendance at the PBH Have A Plant® Nation Virtual Influencer Event, please see the September 1, 2020 Press Release.
If you are interested in engaging with influencers and connecting with consumers directly through PBH’s vast digital and social ecosystem to maximize your marketing dollars, contact Sharese Roper, Member Engagement Director of PBH. 

About the Produce for Better Health Foundation
Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), a nonprofit 501(c)(3), is the only national organization dedicated to helping consumers live happier, healthy lives by eating more fruits and vegetables, including fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice, every single day.

Since 1991, PBH has invested decades into developing trended insights on attitudes toward all forms of fruit and vegetable consumption, in addition to campaigns and partnerships with government, food industry stakeholders, health professionals and other thought leaders to collaborate, facilitate and advocate for increased intake. Campaigns included first, the 5-A-Day program, and then, the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters public health initiative. While five fruits and vegetables each day is great advice, and more will always matter, PBH’s new behavior-based call-to-action is Have A Plant®. Rooted in behavioral science, PBH’s transformative Have A Plant® Movement is an invitation that will inspire people with compelling reasons to believe in the powerful role fruits and vegetables can play to create happy, healthy and active lives.

Be sure to join the Have A Plant® Movement and get new recipes, snack hacks, meal ideas and other tips from chefs, registered dietitians, as well as food and wellness experts by visiting Follow us on Facebook @fruitsandveggies; on Twitter @fruits_veggies; on Instagram @fruitsandveggies; on Pinterest @fruits_veggies; and on LinkedIn at Produce for Better Health Foundation. And remember to #haveaplant.

PBH is also responsible for the Lead The Change Movement — a multi-sector, multi-year initiative designed to maximize the power of PBH’s unique thought leadership position, widespread influencer network, credible scientific and market research, and, most importantly, its innovative members and partners, to lead a call-to-action for addressing the global fruit and vegetable consumption crisis. The initiative includes research, thought leadership and communication platforms to ensure the Movement speaks with One Purpose, One Voice and One Call-to-Action. For more information about the Lead The Change Movement visit: