Press Releases

Produce for Better Health Foundation Accelerates Multi-Year, Cross-Sector Movement to Combat the Fruit & Vegetable Consumption Crisis

Katie Toulouse, Marketing & Communications Director
Produce for Better Health Foundation
[email protected]

First-ever Food System-Based Initiative Unites Stakeholders to Amplify Insights, Innovations and Solutions to Change Fruit & Vegetable Behaviors

June 2, 2020 – The Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) today announced the acceleration of its multi-year, cross-sector Lead The Change Movement. The non-profit’s vision for the future, first introduced to its Board of Trustees in January 2020, unifies produce industry stakeholders and food system thought leaders to close the consumption gap and develop innovative, behavior-based solutions that help people enjoy more fruits and vegetables for happier, healthier lives. With nine out of 10 Americans not eating enough fruits and vegetables each day, PBH recognizes the significant consumption crisis affecting not just our health, but also our culture, society and economy. Leveraging its unique position as a thought leader and convener, PBH was urged by its members to create a strategic framework for Lead The Change that roots the call-to-action in research, and builds upon the collective excellence and values of the fruit and vegetable industry.

“The Lead The Change Movement is designed to maximize the power of PBH’s unique thought leadership, widespread influencer network, credible scientific and consumer research, and, most importantly, our innovative members and partners,” says Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, PBH President and CEO. “PBH is honored to serve as the convener of this multi-sector, solutions-based initiative. Our leaders and supporters agree that the only way to truly transform Americans’ fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors is through a food system-based approach that embraces the contributions of all sectors as well as a spirit of continuous improvement, sparking innovation and stronger collaboration throughout the industry and beyond.”

In recent years, PBH has led comprehensive behavioral research to better understand disparities and challenges that have contributed to the fruit and vegetable consumption intention-action gap. Research shows that, while people KNOW fruits and vegetables support better health, there is a significant need to inspire and change behaviors by tapping into how people FEEL about eating fruits and vegetables to effectively influence what they DO. PBH’s KNOW-FEEL-DO behavioral framework now serves as the basis for all the Foundation’s programs and communications.

“PBH is perfectly positioned to convene the multiple stakeholders necessary to take action toward truly shifting the way people feel and pursue their health and happiness through eating more fruits and vegetables,” says Bil Goldfield, Director of Corporate Communications for Dole Food Company and PBH Chairman of the Board. “Only then, will we be able to identify best practices and new opportunities that effectively improve fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors in a lasting and meaningful way.”

In addition to involving all sectors of the fruit and vegetable industry, among others, Lead The Change includes research, communications, and thought leadership platforms to ensure the Movement speaks with One Purpose, One Voice, and One Call-to-Action, including:

  • One Purpose: PBH is leading best-in-class fruit and vegetable consumption research, also known as PBH’s State of the Plate Research on America’s Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables, as well as custom consumer behavioral studies, to identify and elevate new fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors as a national priority. The research will support the Movement’s overarching purpose of getting to the root of tackling the produce consumption crisis, informed by PBH’s KNOW-FEEL-DO behavioral framework.
  • One Voice: PBH has begun convening a multi-sector coalition of influential stakeholders, thought leaders and academic experts as an innovation incubator-type forum to identify ideas and inspire solutions as well as activate the KNOW-FEEL-DO behavioral framework to help consumers act on fruit and vegetable consumption intentions. PBH will continue to leverage its Have A Plant® Movement, its extensive digital ecosystem and Fruit and Vegetable Ambassadors in Action (FVAA) to help consumers put these behaviors into action.
  • One Call-to-Action: PBH, in partnership with coalition members, will convene multi-sector food system thought leaders at the first-ever national consumption summit, to magnify the fruit and vegetable consumption crisis; build sector-based solutions; and generate a unified call-to-action for lasting behavior change. The summit will take place in 2022, to showcase research insights and coalition member efforts.

The PBH Board of Trustees fully supports and expects others to rally around this future vision addressing the fruit and vegetable consumption crisis. PBH has already raised close to one quarter of a million dollars for research alone as part of the multi-million-dollar initiative. Industry leaders that have made commitments to the Lead The Change Movement thus far include:

  • American Beverage Association
  • Bayer
  • California Avocado Commission
  • California Walnut Board and Commission
  • Chelan Fresh
  • Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc.
  • Dole Food Company, Inc.
  • Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc.
  • Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association
  • Juice Products Association
  • Kellogg Company
  • Naturipe Farms, LLC
  • Produce Marketing Association
  • Seneca Foods Corporation
  • Stemilt Growers, LLC
  • Sunkist Growers, Inc.
  • Sun-Maid Growers of California
  • United Fresh Produce Association
  • Ventura Foods/Marie’s
  • The Wonderful Company

“Now is the time for our industry to be inclusive and work across and within sectors – and with other food group partners – to identify how we can collectively solve the consumption challenge facing us all,” said Matt Middleton, Vice President of Retail Sales, Ventura Foods/Marie’s and PBH Vice Chairman of the Board.

CarrieAnn Arias, Vice President of Marketing, Naturipe Farms, LLC and PBH Secretary and Treasurer added, “As an industry, we must embrace our role as leading an initiative focused on improving consumption of our products, and PBH’s credibility with multiple stakeholders allows us to extend our reach.”

The Lead The Change Movement also includes a comprehensive communications plan, to widely disseminate research findings and implications via traditional/mainstream media, trade press, PBH’s extensive consumer- and influencer-targeted social platforms, professional meetings and other thought leadership opportunities. Finally, the Movement will include continuous evaluation, to ensure efforts are effectively driving improved fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors, with PBH and coalition members developing a framework for ongoing measurement and reporting.

“This is a pivotal time for produce stakeholders to stand together, united in one common goal of closing the fruit and vegetable consumption gap,” said Roger Pepperl, Marketing Director, Stemilt Growers LLC and serving PBH Past Chairman. “I urge my fellow produce industry leaders to step up and lead change together, to inspire new and lasting consumption behaviors that will benefit the public, as well as our industry, for the future.”

You can learn more about the Lead The Change Movement at and/or during PBH’s upcoming industry webinar on Thursday, June 4  (pre-registration is required).

For more information about PBH social media campaigns, Fruit and Vegetable Ambassadors in Action (FVAA) and broad-based retail and foodservice influencer network, please contact Katie Toulouse, PBH Marketing and Communications Director.

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.


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