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PBH Consumer Conference highlights potatoes

Potatoes are Americans’ favorite vegetable. According to Potatoes USA consumer data, nearly three out of four Americans eat potatoes at least once a week. Produce for Better Health Foundation’s (PBH) BB #:157162 recent State of the Plate research shows potatoes were the top vegetable eaten more often in recent years, yet overall fruit and vegetable consumption is decreasing.

To showcase the many ways potatoes can contribute to a healthful diet and improve consumption trends, PBH, in partnership with HZPC Americas Corp. BB #:162880 and Potato Glory, will host the general education session, Elevating The Perception & Power Of Potatoes, during its annual Consumer Connection Conference, April 18-20 at the Omni Resort & Spa Montelucia in Scottsdale, Arizona.

In this session, conference attendees will gain insights regarding specific consumer attitudes and desires as well as value chain strategies to elevate the perception of potatoes and drive greater sales as well as improve consumption.

“For too long, potatoes have had a bad reputation with consumers,” said Jeff Scramlin, President of HZPC Americas Corp. “This panel discussion, backed by research, will showcase opportunities to elevate potatoes as the nutrient dense vegetable that they are and to sell more potatoes at retail as well as foodservice if value chain partners make changes to address specific consumer attitudes and desires.”

Panelists include Aron Derbidge, Vice President, Sales, HZPC Americas Corp.; Robert Greenwood, Program Development Manager for Wysocki Family of Companies; Julie Olivarria, Vice President, Produce, Sysco; Desiree Olivero, Manager, Customer Care, Wakefern Food Corporation; and Garrett DiStefano, Director of Residential & Retail Dining Services, UMass Dining; the session will be moderated by Mary Christ Erwin, President, MCE Consulting.

“Potatoes are an extremely versatile and flavorful staple in households across America. They also have been the victim of consumer misinformation when it comes to their dietary attributes and health benefits,” said Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, President & CEO, PBH. “Potatoes have so much to offer, and it’s time they get their rightful place on the plate. This panel will explore new ways to elevate the potato category and challenge us to consider how all value chain stakeholder can play an important role.”

The first industry marketing event of the year, PBH’s Consumer Connection Conference will advance the food dialogue and elevate fruit and vegetable consumption to a national priority. Attendees will find inspiration for engaging consumers with daily plant-forward culinary explorations. Multiple networking opportunities will allow attendees to engage in intimate high-caliber conversation with consumer-facing influencers, retailers, culinary leaders and marketers alike.

Critical to the event’s success will be the business insights shared from the stage, empowering the community of stakeholder attendees to put them into action and elevate fruit and vegetable consumption. This year, speakers will take attendees on a deep exploration of the power of habit and how we can harness new consumer behaviors. PBH’s Have A Plant Ambassadors will address ways to create an inclusive culture through food, among other timely education sessions.

The event will conclude with 1:1 VIP CONNECT appointments where Have A Plant VIP Influencers will meet with Consumer Connection Conference sponsors to network, learn and collaborate on ways to boost fruit and vegetable consumption through their various channels at the point of sale (retail); the point of flavor (culinary & foodservice); and the point of inspiration (nutrition, lifestyle & agriculture).

Consumer Connection Conference registration is now open. PBH partners can attend for $700 while industry professionals who are not yet partners can attend for $900. To register, visit
2c372aea9db4/summary. To learn more about becoming a PBH Partner, contact Sharese Roper, Industry & Partner Engagement Senior Director at or (302) 235-1013.

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, healthier 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 towards 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 and award-winning 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: