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PBH: We have to make produce easier

Produce for Better Health Foundation CEO Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak addresses the Consumer Connection conference in Scottsdale.

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – The Produce for Better Health Foundation’s BB #:157162 mission is to improve fruit and vegetable consumption, and American consumers need improvement.

“Why are fruits and vegetables not being consumed and consumed every day?” PBH president and CEO Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak asked attendees of the group’s annual Consumer Conncection conference April 18-20. “What are we doing to change this?”

Indeed, attendees from retail, foodservice, produce suppliers, dietitians and consumer influencers are faced with this challenge, and they’re eager to hear and provide ideas.

“It’s a time for self reflection,” Kapsak said. “We need to look not just at what we do but look at who we are.”

Even if we want to consider this a crisis, it’s also a huge opportunity, she said, because there’s such room for improvement.

It starts with fruits and vegetables being easy to get and eat.

PBH has big plans for this year, and it doesn’t just start at this conference, which is being held for the first time since 2019.

Kapsak said each of the next few months provide PBH a chance to improve diets and enable produce industry members to be part of the gains.

“This conference is a way for the industry to connect with consumer influencers and the people who affect behavior unlike any other conference,” she said.

In early May, PBH will release the gap analysis report that shows the lack of alignment of U.S. government policy and funding with its recommendations.

“We’ll recommend funding in research, feeding programs and education and promotion, and we’d like to see behavioral science be part of that,” Kapsak said.

In June, PBH will start a Roots of our Food campaign that will focus on the fruit and vegetable growers’ role in bringing it to consumers.

In July, PBH plans to release a toolkit for marketers to being promotion National Fruits and Veggies Month in September.

In August or September, PBH plans to release its latest research on consumer behavior.

Then in October, PBH will bring its largest group of consumer influencers to the new IFPA Global Produce and Floral Show in Orlando, FL, including retail dietitians and consumer influencers who will let their followers know about their mission and commitment to the produce industry, Kapsak said.

The Have a Plant movement has many opportunities to take hold.


Greg Johnson is the Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services.