Press Releases

Produce For Better Health Foundation Expands & Rebrands Elite Ambassador Network To Reach Consumers Across Three Points Of Influence

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

Newly-formed Have A Plant® Ambassador Network Enables More Opportunities to Connect the Fruit and Vegetable Industry with Gen Z and Millennial Consumers

April 20, 2021 – The Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is poised to significantly extend the far-reaching impact of its award-winning Have A Plant® Movement through the growth of its elite ambassador network. The newly minted PBH Have A Plant® Ambassador Network (formally known as the PBH Fruit & Vegetable Ambassadors in Action) has now quadrupled in size and includes individuals who have distinct areas of expertise and who reach consumers at three unique points of influence: point-of-sale (retail), point-of-flavor (culinary & foodservice), and point-of-inspiration (digital & social media lifestyle & nutrition communicators).

Expanding the PBH Have A Plant® Ambassador Network comes at a time when consumers are increasingly placing trust in influencers who have an expertise in food, nutrition, health and wellness as well as fitness.  According to data from the International Food Information Council’s Food and Health Survey, health professionals are a trusted source of information for consumers regarding which foods to eat or avoid.[1] Additionally, research shows that consumers trust influencers 94 percent more than friends or family when making shopping decisions.[2] This is especially true as we continue to navigate a global pandemic, with data showing that social media use is up 83 percent since mid-March 2020.[3] Indeed, more brands are turning to influencers for content creation and amplification as consumers are looking for credible advice on how to be happier and healthier during these turbulent times.

“Combined, this group reaches hundreds of thousands of millennials and Gen Z consumers each day. With this unprecedented reach, PBH can uniquely deliver valuable influencer partnerships to all members of the fruit and vegetable supply chain and is poised to significantly extend the far-reaching impact of PBH’s award-winning Have A Plant® Movement, which launched just two years ago,” says Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, President & CEO of PBH. “Importantly, PBH is committed to building strong relationships with these influencers to ensure they find mutual value and satisfaction in supporting PBH and the produce industry to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and, in turn, help improve public health.”

This year, PBH’s comprehensive digital ecosystem and social media channels will continue to evolve and engage consumers at the point-of-sale (retail), point-of-flavor (culinary & foodservice), and point-of-inspiration (digital & social media lifestyle & nutrition communicators online). The impressive roster of PBH Have A Plant® Ambassadors will contribute to PBH’s popular recipe and Expert Advice libraries, in addition to lending their expertise to Have A Plant® Cook Alongs, Instagram Reels, Facebook lives and other inspiring social content. This best-in-class ambassador network also has the knowledge and skillset to engage with PBH and its members beyond digital and social media, from co-hosting virtual webinars to generating top-tier media placements, supporting retail promotions, offering strategic insights and participating in PBH sponsored events.

“This year is all about the continued evolution of the Have A Plant® Movement along with more opportunities for the fruit and vegetable industry to connect directly to consumers,” said Katie Calligaro, PBH marketing and communications director. “No other organization is partnering with such a wide range of influencers to inform people wherever they make fruit and vegetable decisions. This year’s group of fruit and veggie lovin’ enthusiasts includes some new faces along with familiar names our followers already know and trust.”

The expanded network of PBH Have A Plant® Ambassadors includes:

PBH Have A Plant® Retail Ambassadors, engage millions of shoppers at more than 10,000 stores nationwide and online. From e-commerce, social media and digital activations to in-store produce promotion and education, our retail ambassadors are directly impacting the amount and types of fruits and vegetables added to the cart, increasing retail sales and produce additions to the plate. This group includes registered dietitians and leaders from the following retailers:

  • Albertsons
  • Aldi
  • Big Y
  • Coborns
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Gelson’s
  • Giant Food
  • Hannaford
  • H-E-B
  • Hy-Vee
  • Kroger
  • K-VA-T
  • Kwik Trip
  • Loblaws
  • Natural Grocers
  • Niemann Foods
  • Price Chopper
  • Publix
  • Raley’s
  • Redner’s
  • Rouses
  • ShopRite
  • Skogen’s Festival Foods
  • SpartanNash
  • Trader Joes
  • Wakefern
  • Wegmans
  • Weis Markets

PBH recognizes the importance of those at the forefront of delighting consumers with flavorful plant-forward cuisine and creating meaningful experiences through culinary creations. Leaders from major foodservice operations are working to ensure fruits and vegetables are an integral part of new menu innovation and marketed in compelling ways that drive consumption away from home. PBH Have A Plant® Culinary & Foodservice Ambassadors are leaders spanning a variety of high-profile establishments including:

  • American River College Culinary Arts Program
  • Brinker International, parent company of Maggiano’s Little Italy and Chili’s Bar & Grill
  • Bloomin’ Brands, parent company of Outback Steakhouse, Aussie Grill by Outback, Carraba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
  • Sysco / Fresh Point
  • Compass Group North America
  • Datassential
  • Google Food
  • Johnson & Wales University
  • Michigan State University Dining
  • Menu Matters
  • Panda Restaurant Group
  • Shaping America’s Plate
  • Sodexo
  • Subway
  • Taco Bell
  • The Culinary Institute of America
  • University of Massachusetts Dining
  • Yale Hospitality

PBH knows first-hand given its own social media following that consumers engage online with socially and digitally savvy nutrition, health and well-being professionals as well as lifestyle and fitness influencers who regularly communicate the powerful role fruits and vegetables play in fueling healthy, happy lifestyles. PBH Have A Plant® Ambassadors, along with PBH’s digital and social media following reach more than 1.5 Million consumers regularly and include the following leaders (among many more):

Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, PBH president & CEO (St. Louis, MO) is also positioned to communicate directly to consumers, particularly given her recent Satellite Media Tour where she delivered fruit and veggie messages to nearly 30 Million consumers through 32 live TV and radio segments. Wendy, among other experts on PBH’s staff, are available for interviews, panel discussions, presentations, and strategic insights.

Reaching millions of consumers each day, PBH’s social media channels and digital ecosystem, filled with fruit and vegetable fans and enthusiasts, is a premium partner for influencer engagement and activation. To take advantage of PBH’s comprehensive menu of influencer offerings, and all of the ways the PBH Have A Plant® Ambassador Network can immerse Gen Z and millennial consumers in an inspirational fruit and vegetable culture, download the newly released 2021 Member Engagement Prospectus here.

For more information, research, tips, tricks, recipes and fruit and veggie facts and inspiration, visit Follow us and our Have A Plant® Ambassadors on Facebook @fruitsandveggies; Twitter @fruits_veggies; Instagram @fruitsandveggies; Pinterest @fruits_veggies; and LinkedIn at Produce for Better Health Foundation.

[2] The Influence of Influencers Research Study: