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April 5, 2013

From the Chair: A Message from Marty Ordman
USDA's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Boosts Kids Consumption
Study Shows Better-for-You Foods Improve Health While Increasing Profits
PBH Pesticide Webinar Sets Record Attendance

From the Chair: A Message from Marty Ordman

As I begin my year as Chairman of the Produce for Better Health Foundation Board of Trustees, I would first like to recognize and thank Paul Palmby, Immediate Past Chair, for the tireless dedication and support of PBH he demonstrated throughout the last year. I look forward to working with him and the rest of the PBH Executive Committee during my tenure.

I would also like to thank all current donors and supporters of PBH and the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® national health campaign. Much of PBH’s work could only happen with your generous support. I, on behalf of Dole Food Company, have supported PBH for the last several years because we believe in PBH’s mission to increase fruit and vegetable consumption for better health. For the last 20 years, PBH has worked to educate consumers about the health benefits of increasing their consumption of fruit and vegetables. The message has been both consistent and credible, helping to increase the value of the fruit and vegetable products we sell as an industry in the minds of consumers.

I encourage each of you to enhance your support of PBH and the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters brand as much as possible through social media, placing the logo on approved packaging, POS materials, and consumer collateral, and by linking to If you are planning to donate a school salad bar in 2013, be sure to purchase fruit and vegetable nutrition education materials from so the children learn about the importance of fruit and vegetables while indulging in the salad bar. Your participation in these types of activities also helps to qualify your organization as a Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Role Model or Champion and to be recognized among your peers. Your support and involvement in PBH matters on so many fronts—thank you!

Marty Ordman, Dole Food Company

USDA's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Boosts Kids Consumption

Last week, an agriculture study showed that elementary school children participating in USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program consumed 15 percent more fruit and vegetables compared to non-participating students. Even better, this increase in consumption doesn’t appear to substantially increase calories in children’s diets.

The program is an excellent way to introduce students to more fruit and vegetables. In the study, which was conducted during the 2010-2011 school year, almost all students tried the fruit and vegetable snacks offered to them (97 percent and 84 percent, respectively). A majority of the students ate most or all of the snacks (86 percent or 61 percent, respectively).

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program began as a pilot in 2002 and aims to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among students in the nation’s poorest elementary schools by providing free fresh fruit and vegetables to students outside of regular school meals. The pilot was converted into a nationwide program in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, also known as the Farm Bill. It is part of a package of USDA programs designed to combat child hunger and obesity and improve the health and nutrition of the nation’s children. View the press release or you may read the full report for more information.

Study Shows Better-for-You Foods Improve Health While Increasing Profits

Two new studies by the Hudson Institute show that businesses who have grown their healthier, lower-calorie food and beverage options over the past five years have delivered superior sales growth compared with those that were not as aggressive in introducing and selling these types of products.

Researchers conducted two studies—the first focusing on consumer packaged goods from 15 companies. The second study looked at quick-service and full-service restaurants. Researchers analyzed 21 chains and 6,217 menu items across nine quick-service and 12 full-service restaurant chains for the study.

After the time period of the study (2007-2011 for the consumer packaged goods and 2006-2011 for the restaurant study), researchers found the following: 

  • Consumer packaged goods companies who grew their better-for-you sales enjoyed larger dollar sales increases, higher operating profit margins, superior operating profit growth, and stronger reputation ratings.
  • Restaurant chains who grew their better-for-you/lower-calorie menu servings exhibited greater same store sales, traffic, and total servings sales.

Up until this study there has been limited evidence that food and restaurant companies providing better-for-you alternative can improve their financial performance. Since this research provides significant proof that companies can develop healthy offerings and reap financial gains, this should encourage them to develop and market healthier alternatives. Some recommendations from the study: 

  • Companies should place more emphasis on selling better-for-you/lower-calorie foods and beverages as an effective pathway to improved business performance.
  • Consumer packaged goods companies, restaurant chains, and industry analysts should include the measurement of better-for-you/lower-calorie foods developed in this research when assessing annual sales, financial, and reputation performance metrics.
  • Public health officials and policy makers should be more aware of food, beverage, and restaurant companies’ core performance metrics in order to work more effectively with them to address the obesity epidemic in the future.

View the full report and a list of the companies who participated in this study.

PBH Pesticide Webinar Sets Record Attendance

Last month’s free webcast, “Pesticide Residues: Are We Scaring Parents Away From Healthy, Affordable Fruit & Veggies,” set a record attendance of more than 250 participants. The second webinar of the series, designed to provide health professionals with the latest information about hot topics that influence consumers’ fruit and vegetable consumption, proved to be especially interesting given the buzz about pesticides in the media.

Participants learned about a new consumer research project conducted by the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Center for Nutrition Research. Center Director Dr. Britt Burton-Freeman discussed how fears about pesticide residues may now be impacting low-income consumers’ consumption habits. Dr. Carl Keen, Professor of Nutrition and Internal Medicine at University of California, Davis, also presented a new peer-reviewed paper, which examined cancer risks and benefits associated with potential increased consumption of fruit and vegetables. PBH has recorded the session and it will be available once the research is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

If you are interested in presenting a webinar to health professionals, contact PBH Development Director Renee Bullion or PBH Development Manager Cyndy Dennis.

PBH is pleased to recognize the following companies who have contributed their support to the Foundation from March 20, 2013 through April 3, 2013. Your generous contributions help support PBH’s many activities to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. To find out how you can support PBH, and grow your business in the process, contact PBH Development Director Renee Bullion or PBH Development Manager Cyndy Dennis.

Donors Who Increased Their Annual Contribution:
The Horton Fruit Company, Inc.
J & J Distributing Company
Mariani Packing Company, Inc.
Naturipe Farms LLC
Phillips Mushroom Farms
Price Chopper Supermarkets
Rice Fruit Company
San Joaquin Tomato Growers, Inc.
Tanimura & Antle
Times Super Markets
Wholesale Produce Supply Company, Inc.

Returning Trustees ($10,000+ Annual Contribution):
California Avocado Commission
Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc.
Pacific Coast Producers
Rainier Fruit Company, Inc.
Sunkist Growers, Inc.

Returning Donors:
American Mushroom Institute
California Grape & Tree Fruit League
California Raisin Marketing Board
Harris Teeter Super Markets, Inc.
Subway Franchise World Headquarters


For more information, contact PBH Development Director Renee Bullion.


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