Press Releases

Produce For Better Health Foundation To Host 2-Day Virtual Event For Industry Leaders And Ambassadors From Retail, Foodservice And Its Elite Influencer Network

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

PBH Closes Out National Fruits & Veggies Month Promising Meaningful Engagement and Enhanced ROI

September 1, 2020 – As part of its ongoing influencer engagement strategy and thought leadership platform, the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is convening an intimate virtual influencer event to satisfy the strong desire for meaningful, memorable connectivity among industry and those that inspire consumers’ fruit and vegetable consumption. PBH’s Have A Plant® Nation Virtual Influencer Event offers stimulating education and actionable solutions to activate across three points of influence: 1) point-of-sale (retail), 2) point-of-service (foodservice), and 3) point-of-inspiration (online). The event also serves as a celebratory finale to National Fruits & Veggies Month, being held September 29-30, 2020.

“COVID-19 has completely disrupted how we traditionally connect and engage to build powerful partnerships that promote fruits and vegetables,” says Sharese Roper, Member Engagement Director at PBH.  “In my day-to-day conversations with our members, it became clear that the abrupt shift to a fully virtual world created a void as well as a subsequent craving for intimate engagement and meaningful relationship building with the people who, even during stay-at-home orders, are inspiring consumers and their shopping lists every day.”

“Now more than ever it’s important to provide the public with the information and inspiration they are seeking regarding their health and well-being,” says Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, President and CEO of PBH. “In addition to PBH as a credible source of science-based information, Americans also rely on health and nutrition professionals, culinary and fitness experts as trusted sources for information. The PBH Have a Plant Nation® Virtual Influencer Event unites important retail and foodservice professionals as well as healthy lifestyle influencers with fruit and vegetable industry leaders to inspire actionable solutions that can positively impact consumers’ consumption habits.”

Last year, PBH declared September as National Fruits & Veggies Month as part of its comprehensive strategic plan to elevate new fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors as a national priority. One year later, the organization is broadening the reach and impact of The Have A Plant® Movement with not only this exclusive virtual event, but also a dynamic National Fruits & Veggies Month Toolkit, and various produce- and consumer-first partnerships, including the FMI Foundation with an emphasis on produce-packed family meals, National Dairy Council (NDC) with #haveaplantwith dairy, and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) with #unitedontheplate, among others.

During the two-day event, attendees will engage in education sessions, virtual tasting experiences, and small group virtual visits – a Zoom-inspired two-way, video-to-video session for individual sponsors to meet exclusively with 10-12 influencers at once. Attendees will be the first to hear select topline results from the next iteration of PBH’s signature 2020 State of The Plate: Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in America research, and gain insights from top C-suite industry titans including  Taylor Farms, Sun-Maid Growers of California, Robinson Fresh, Frieda’s, HZPC and Dole Packaged Foods during a final leadership panel presentation.

“While we’re disappointed that we can’t see everyone in person during this time, we are looking forward to this unique opportunity to continue to reap the benefits from PBH’s signature service through this virtual education platform,” says Nichole Towell, Senior Director, Marketing Services of Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc. “Events are just one way the produce industry can get involved to leverage all that PBH has to offer, which is why we engage with their multi-faceted surround-sound approach customized package each year. We know now we cannot rely on in-person events and experiences alone, and we are thrilled to have PBH as our partner to help us flip the switch to turn a traditional demo into a truly meaningful (virtual) experience.”

To create a truly intimate and exclusive environment, PBH issued invites to 50 strategically-selected influencers from retail, foodservice and the PBH Fruit and Vegetable Ambassadors in Action (FVAA) Influencer Network as well as a limited number of sponsors.

Confirmed attendees include representatives from the following retailers and foodservice companies:


  1. Albertsons
  2. Big Y Foods, Inc.
  3. Coburn’s Inc.
  4. Fresh Thyme Farmers Market
  5. Giant Food
  6. The GIANT Company
  7. Hannaford
  8. Harmons Grocery
  9. H-E-B
  10. Hy-Vee, Inc.
  11. The Kroger Co.
  12. Natural Grocers
  13. Raley’s
  14. Rouses Markets
  15. SpartanNash
  16. Wakefern
  17. Wegmans
  18. Weis Markets


  1. Bloomin’ Brands, Inc.
  2. Datassential
  3. Brinker International
  4. Sodexo
  5. Spokane Public Schools
  6. Subway
  7. Sysco
  8. The Culinary Institute of America

PBH Fruit & Vegetable Ambassadors in Action:

  1. Joan Salge Blake – Dr. Joan Salge Blake – SpotOn! Podcast (Boston, MA)
  2. Leslie Bonci – Active Eating Advice (Pittsburgh, PA)
  3. Kristen Carli – Mostly Green (Scottsdale, AZ)
  4. Neva Cochran – Eating Beyond the Headlines (Dallas, TX)
  5. Beau Coffron – Lunchbox Dad (Edmund, OK)
  6. Stephen and Elise Compston – Straight Outta Compston’s Kitchen (Reno, NV)
  7. Andrew Dole – Body Fuel (Castle Rock, CO)
  8. Mandy Enright – Food + Movement (Jersey Shore, NJ)
  9. Abbie Gellman – Chef Abbie Gellman (New York, NY)
  10. Cara Harbstreet – Street Smart Nutrition (Overland Park, KS)
  11. Dayle Hayes – School Meals that Rock (Bozeman, MT)
  12. Kelly Jones – Kelly Jones Nutrition (Philadelphia, PA)
  13. Andrea Mathis – Beautiful Eats and Things (Pinson, AL)
  14. Megan McCarthy – Healthy Eating 101 (Atlanta, GA)
  15. Nicole Rodriguez – Enjoy Food Enjoy Life (New York, NY)
  16. Sarah Schlichter – Bucket List Tummy (Washington, DC)
  17. Kelli Shallal – Hungry Hobby (Phoenix, AZ)
  18. Lori Taylor – The Produce Moms® (Indianapolis, IN)
  19. Jonathan Valdez – Genki Nutrition (New York, NY)
  20. Manuel Villacorta – Manuel Villacorta (San Francisco, CA)
  21. Elisabeth Watkins – Farm Girl Chef (Reno, NV)
  22. Liz Weiss – Liz’s Healthy Table (Boston, MA)


California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement
Chelan Fresh Marketing
Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc.
HZPC Americas Corp.

Dole Food Company
Seneca Foods Corporation
Stemilt Growers LLC

Naturipe Farms LLC
Pacific Coast Producers

Interested in participating in PBH’s Have A Plant® Nation Influencer Event? There are limited spots available, so reserve your sponsorship seat at this exclusive event today, by contacting Sharese Roper, Member Engagement Director of PBH