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June 24, 2011

From the President: The Time is Now
Prepare for Upcoming MyPlate Makeover Challenge
Half-Your-Plate Sponsorships Are Hot
Americas More Matters Pledge Passes 3,000 Pledges
Promote MyPlate Events and Activities on the Fruit & Veggie Happenings Page
PBH Attends National Association Educators of Young Children Convention
Pivonka Addresses Fresh Produce & Floral Council
2012 Sponsorship Opportunities Announced
Let’s Move Update: Planting, Visiting and a Summit
IFAVA Newsletter: Fruit & Vegetable Intake and Consumption of Unhealthy Snacks

From the President: The Time is Now

From PBH President and CEO Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D.

The time to demonstrate your support for PBH and our effort to help consumers learn to use more fruits and vegetables – at least half their plate - in their daily lives is now! Interest in healthy eating has never been higher as we see the news media filled with stories about the new MyPlate graphic, childhood obesity, the nutritional value of school lunches and vending options, and new research backing up fruit and vegetable health benefits. We can’t help but believe that the average consumer is more interested in how food affects their health now than ever before. 

This inference is backed up by ever increasing visitor numbers for the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters consumer website and subscriptions to our opt-in consumer emails. In March of this year, the website had a significant increase in unique visitors, visits, and page views, higher than ever before. The Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Facebook presence doubled its “likes” in the first quarter and the Twitter presence has seen a follower increase of 50 percent over 2010, too. 

PBH’s Annual Moms Survey also bears out a greater interest in healthy fruits and vegetables. Familiarity with the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters brand logo has increased and moms’ self-reported likeliness of purchasing a product with the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters logo on it increased to 47 percent in 2011, up from 40 percent in 2009. There was also a significant jump in moms’ “intention to serve” more fruits and vegetables to her family, from 66 percent last year to 76 percent in 2011. PBH’s consumer outreach is overcoming continuing economic concerns and moving the needle on consumption by spreading the message of how good fruits and vegetables are for health and how affordable they really can be, with much more to come this fall! 

I encourage all of you to participate in activities beginning in September, just in time for Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Month, to encourage consumers to take the MyPlate Makeover Challenge and make half their plate fruits and veggies!  USDA has already linked their new website to from multiple locations because they didn’t want to “reinvent” the wheel when so much good information about fruits and vegetables already exists. You can help with this effort by sponsoring “plates” to inspire consumers about how they can makeover their own plates, as well as allowing us to offer your coupons to consumers when they show us - via Facebook - their success at making over their own plates.  An outline of the more immediate efforts is noted below. 

All of these activities are an opportunity to challenge yourself and your company to attain Role Model or Champion status in 2011. This year is pivotal! Capture some of the buzz for yourself by showing your affiliation with Fruits & Veggies—More Matters. With your help, we can keep the success of Fruits & Veggies—More Matters growing!

Prepare for Upcoming MyPlate Makeover Challenge

In preparation for Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® month in September and to support USDA’s new emphasis on "making half your plate fruits and vegetables," PBH’s outreach plans include: 

  • Motivating consumers to change their plates through a “MyPlate Makeover Challenge”, promoted through social media channels. In September-October, consumers will be encouraged to join our challenge and upload a photo of their plate to the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Facebook contest page. Participants will receive coupons for fruits and veggies and be entered to randomly win free grocery gift cards. Industry members can support the effort with coupons and by encouraging their employees, family, and consumers to participate. To make it easy for you, simply follow Fruits & Veggies-More Matters on Facebook or Twitter to “like” or “retweet” appropriate consumer messages.
  • Providing guidance and inspiration by showcasing “real food” plate makeovers on Facebook, on our websites, and via consumer press releases starting late summer.  The examples will show consumers how easy it is to make simple switches that don’t cost too much and provide better nutrition, as well as what "half your plate" looks like for meals, snacks, mixed dishes, and while eating on the go. 
  • Encouraging consumers to pledge to make “half your plate” fruits and veggies by joining the America’s More Matters Pledge.
  • Helping consumers to make half their plate fruits and vegetables by sharing ideas and tools on our websites, through our e-newsletters and social media channels, and other communication efforts.

An outline of longer-term plans can be found in PBH’s press release here. Look for periodic updates and further information in future editions of PBH Direct! and on our Facebook pages.

Half-Your-Plate Sponsorships Are Hot

PBH has developed a new “half your plate” sponsorship opportunity that visually translates USDA’s “fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables” key message and these opportunities are generating ample interest so don’t be left out! The new “half your plate” sponsored visuals will show consumers how half a plate of fruits and vegetables can be interpreted in bowls, lunchboxes, snacks, eating in the car, mixed dishes, diabetic diets, and more. The new images will provide inspiration to consumers by highlighting various commodities as part of a plate that meets Fruits & Veggies—More Matters and USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 criteria. 

Sponsorship of one of the new plate visuals gives the sponsor their choice of commodity as part of the plate.  New menus and recipes (short preparation time, minimal number of ingredients, consumer tested), nutrient and cost analysis, and top of the line photography are included as part of the sponsorship. A “half your plate” sponsorship provides consumer visibility, including features on the MyPlate Makeover this fall, use in education materials marketed to over 100,000 health professionals and educators, a featured spot on PBH’s consumer website, which receives 70,000+ average monthly web visits, social media promotion via Facebook and Twitter to more than 12,000 followers and fans, as well as use in ongoing PBH public relations and media efforts. The “half your plate” visual and analysis will also be made available to each sponsor for their own use. 

The new “half your plate” sponsorship opportunity offers three different sponsor levels, $4,000 for sponsorship of a full plate, $2,500 for sponsorship of half a plate, or $2,000 for  sponsorship of one quarter of a plate. For additional details about the “half your plate” sponsorship opportunity, view the Half Your Plate Sponsorship Form, or contact PBH Development Director Renee Bullion.

Americas More Matters Pledge Passes 3,000 Pledges

Consumers nationwide are promising to eat more nutritious fruits and vegetables with the America’s More Matters Pledge: Fruits & Veggies … Today and Every Day! pledge campaign. The pledge is featured on the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters website,, and has now collected over 3,000 pledges! The campaign has been reinvigorated by USDA’s release of the new MyPlate food graphic and its support of their “fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables” key message. 

Help PBH spread the word about the America’s More Matters Pledge to get consumers excited about promising to fill half their plate with healthy, delicious fruits and vegetables! PBH encourages the industry to invite consumers to take the America’s More Matters Pledge in their own marketing efforts and to link to the pledge from their own websites. Each pledge taken can make a real difference in fruit and veggie consumption, and in the health of our nation.

Promote MyPlate Events and Activities on the Fruit & Veggie Happenings Page

Don’t forget to list all your new MyPlate related promotions and activities on the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters consumer website’s interactive Fruit & Veggie Happenings page! This page offers donors the opportunity to upload fruit and veggie related activities, promotions, contests, and events to help extend their consumer marketing and education efforts. Consumers use this page to search for activities in their local community by typing in their zip code. 

Two new items added this week are Count Your Peas, an iPad App that teaches kids about basic food and nutrition, and Garden on the Go, a mobile produce truck, delivering fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables to Indianapolis' food deserts. 

This is the perfect place to promote summer fruit and vegetable or nutrition related activities and events. And it’s not too early to start listing events planned for September, Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Month! Photos, PDFs, and information about the same event or activity occurring at multiple locations can also be uploaded, making it easy and convenient to populate this interactive tool. Visit the Fruit & Veggie Happenings page today and for help uploading events and activities, contact PBH Administrative Assistant Janet Skibicki.

PBH Attends National Association Educators of Young Children Convention

PBH’s marketing team was on hand for the National Association Educators of Young Children (NAEYC) Convention in Providence, RI. This is a “can’t miss” conference because its participants use nutrition education materials from PBH. This year’s trade show area was well attended and at times even crowded. 

Many items from the 2011 PBH Nutrition Education Catalog were presented to the educators in attendance, but the most attention and positive feedback revolved around the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Creative Pocket Kits, Discovering Fruits & Veggies Color Champion Puppets Kit, and the Fruit & Veggie Scentsable Learning Kit. Many attendees also expressed interest in purchasing fruit and vegetable education materials that incorporate USDA’s new MyPlate food graphic. 

These events give PBH the opportunity to strengthen and develop new relationships with various audiences for Fruits & Veggies—More Matters messages and nutrition education materials. For more information on these meetings and events, contact PBH Catalog Sales Manager Don Schuler.

Pivonka Addresses Fresh Produce & Floral Council

PBH president and CEO, Elizabeth Pivonka, spoke to members of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council at their June 15 luncheon. She provided an overview of trends in fruit and vegetable consumption efforts, including top-line fruit and vegetable food intake, federal funding for fruits and vegetables, Gen X and Gen Y mom attitudes, health benefits, behavior change research and the latest fruit and vegetable report card. She also outlined PBH “half your plate plans” which include showing “real food” photos of what half the plate as fruits and veggies looks like when in mixed dishes, bowls, etc. as part of a MyPlate Makeover that PBH will be launching in September. A copy of the presentation can be found here.

2012 Sponsorship Opportunities Announced

Several PBH sponsorship opportunities are available for 2012, with some exciting new projects open for sponsorship next year! Partner with PBH to increase visibility through enhanced marketing and advertising opportunities. 

Supporters have the opportunity to sponsor research projects that will be vital to the fruit and vegetable industry in 2012 with projects like the new Fruit & Vegetable Behavioral Economics Literature Review, the Annual Moms Survey, and brand new Marketing Research designed to stimulate new thinking in fruit and veggie marketing. 

The USDA’s new food graphic, MyPlate, is the talk of the town and in 2012 sponsors can have their pick of commodities represented on one or more Half Your Plate visuals! PBH will also offer a series of webinars where industry sponsors can introduce concepts, new products, or research. 

Donors can establish a presence on PBH’s consumer website,, by sponsoring a commodity Top 10 list. 

Don’t forget about sponsor favorites like PBH’s Annual Report and PBH’s Annual Meeting! Meeting sponsorships have been divided into Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Benefactor, and Friend levels for 2012. 

Other returning sponsorship opportunities include: PBH Direct!, the foundation's semi-monthly e-newsletter; the quarterly retailer-specific print newsletter, Retail Matters; Consumer Columns; and more! 

Don't miss a single opportunity to support PBH while amplifying your marketing reach! For more information, contact PBH Development Director Renee Bullion or PBH Development Manager Cyndy Dennis.

Let’s Move Update: Planting, Visiting, and a Summit

Last year, first lady Michelle Obama unveiled her Let’s Move initiative, aimed at eliminating childhood obesity in this generation.  PBH wants to keep readers informed about the latest happenings relating to this important initiative. 

Mrs. Obama visited a Washington D.C. child care center early this month to announce a new national initiative to encourage child care centers to promote healthy eating and exercise habits. The first lady watched as toddlers ate a healthy lunch and participated in an age-appropriate P.E. class. While there, she announced the Let’s Move! Childcare Checklist, a tool for parents and childcare providers to ensure that kids get a healthy start with good nutrition and physical activity. More than 1,600 child care centers nationwide already have committed to standards that promote healthy eating, exercise, and limited time in front of TV, computer, or other screens. 

Mrs. Obama also enjoyed some outdoor activity with American Indian children as they began the process of planting the “three sisters” - corns, beans and squash – in the White House garden. They used a traditional Native American planting technique for growing crops in a mutually beneficial manner: the corn provides a structure for the beans to climb, eliminating the need for poles; the beans provide the soil with nitrogen that the other plants use; and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight and preventing weeds. This activity came just one week after the launch of Let’s Move! in Indian Country, a new aspect of the Let’s Move initiative, aimed at eliminating childhood obesity in this generation.

The first-ever Let's Move! Mid-Atlantic Summit took place in Baltimore June 14 - 16. This event was the first of its kind designed to encourage conversation between the many different programs designed to solve the problem of childhood obesity and end childhood hunger. 

For more information about the Let’s Move initiative, visit the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Let’s Move page of the
Fruits & Veggies—More Matters website.

IFAVA Newsletter: Fruit & Vegetable Intake and Consumption of Unhealthy Snacks

This month’s edition of the International Fruit and Vegetable Alliance’s (IFAVA) scientific newsletter discusses the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and the consumption of unhealthy snacks. Specifically, this issue contains articles that discuss the effects of a fruit and vegetable program on unhealthy snacks during mid-morning school breaks, free fruit at school in Norway and decreased consumption of unhealthy snacks, and the snack barrier to increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in Latin America. For more information, visit IFAVA or contact PBH’s Marketing and Communications Assistant Jill LeBrasseur.

PBH is pleased to recognize the following companies as leaders in the fruit and vegetable industry and thanks them for their support. Their generous contributions help make possible PBH’s many activities to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. PBH thanks all current and new donors who have contributed to the foundation from May 13, 2011 through June 21, 2011. Together we can make a difference in the nation’s 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.

New Donors:
Colorado Potato Administrative Committee
Kellogg Company
Sage Fruit Co LLC

Returning Trustees ($10,000+ Annual Contribution):
McDonald's Corporation
Nestle USA
Safeway, Inc.

Returning Donors:
Agrow Fresh Produce Company, Inc.
Apio, Inc.
Crosset Company
C.L. Henderson Produce Company
HMC Farms
The Los Angeles Salad Company, Inc.
Michigan Celery Promotion Cooperative, Inc.
National Watermelon Promotion Board
Niemann Foods, Inc.
Price Chopper Supermarkets
Red Blossom Sales, Inc.
Robbie Manufacturing, Inc.
Spokane Produce, Inc.
Stater Brothers Markets
Sun World International, LLC
Sunview Marketing International
Unistar Plastics, LLC
Valley Fig Growers
Waverly Plastics Company, Inc.
Western Precooling Systems


For more information, contact Kristen Stevens.


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