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December 16, 2011

From the President: 2011—A Year in Review
Benefits of Early Exposure to Fruits and Vegetables
Social Media Marketing Expert Featured as Keynote Speaker at 2012 Annual Meeting
PBH Thankful for In-Kind Contributions
PBH to Host Healthy Weight Twitter Party

From the President: 2011—A Year in Review

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

It’s hard to believe only a few weeks remain in 2011—the year has certainly been filled with activity and I thought a recap of the opportunities, initiatives, and research PBH worked on over the past 12 months would be a fitting way to ring in 2012.

In early February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. A positive change for our industry was the recommendation for Americans to make half their plate fruit and vegetables. To support this recommendation, an updated food pyramid, ChooseMyPlate, was released in September, which further supports the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® national health initiative as a way to easily quantify the amount of fruits and vegetables needed each meal.

The end of the March marked the PBH Annual Meeting. This year’s meeting was made even more successful as we celebrated PBH’s 20th anniversary with a short video. At the Annual Meeting an initiative was set forth to create task forces for various projects. The task forces would be established as a way for industry members to help and each task force would require three to five volunteers. By May we had many of our supporters generously volunteer their time.

In April, PBH reported results from the Annual Mom Survey and more moms reported they are familiar with the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters brand logo and they are more likely to purchase a product that carries the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters brand logo than they were two years ago (47 percent versus 40 percent). The Internet remains the most effective means of communication for both Gen X and Gen Y Moms and the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters web site offers moms a great deal of information and advice.

April also saw PBH make eight Fruits & Veggies—More Matters recipes available on, which has increased consumer impressions and click-through rates. Two of the recipes are kid-friendly and all meet the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters strict recipe criteria.

In July, the Half-Your-Plate social media marketing toolkit was available on the PBH Foundation website, designed to help our supporters spread the dietary recommendation to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables via social messaging.

In September, PBH celebrated More Matters Month with the launch of the MyPlate Makeover Challenge. In support of MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, the MyPlate Makeover Challenge encourages consumers to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables. Hundreds of consumers have submitted photos of their healthy plates via the Facebook contest since the launch.

Throughout the year, 25 "real food" plates showing what half plate looks like in mixed dishes, bowls, and glasses were developed and photographed. Not only are these featured as part of the MyPlate Makeover Challenge, but they are posted as downloadable "info sheets" for educators and health professionals, demonstrating "before" and "after" plates for consumers.

PBH also marked the new school year in two different ways. In partnership with Welch's, we were pleased with the return of Pack Assorted Colors for Kids (P.A.C.K.) Week. The educational program has been successful in engaging students in dialogue about fruits and vegetables and healthy eating. In support of the Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, PBH was pleased to introduce new Fruits & Veggies—More Matters branded salad bar educational materials to its nutrition education catalog inventory.

PBH was also excited to share two new scientific reviews in October. Fruits, Vegetables, and Health: A Scientific Overview and Fruits, Vegetables, and Behavior Change: A Scientific Overview.

2011 has been an especially strong year for PBH Marketing and Communications. The Fruits & Veggies—More Matters consumer website has shown strong numbers this year, recording the highest ever number of visits to the site in September (113,000+), a 72 percent increase from September 2010. Social media efforts continue to make an impact; Facebook followers increased 4-fold and Twitter followers doubled from last year. We continue to expand on areas of the website. The Fruits & Veggies Happenings page now has more than 12,500 programs in its searchable database, with 5,360 Farmers Markets added this year. More than 4,000 consumers have taken the More Matters Pledge to fight obesity—all positive signs we’re reaching consumers with our message.

Finally, I want to extend the foundation’s gratitude to all our supporters—annual contributors, Fruits & Veggies—More Matters brand licensees, in-kind donations, and sponsorships. Thank you to everyone who helps to disseminate the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters message by adding it to brand packaging, POS signs, using the logo in circulars and on advertising, forwarding our press releases to local media outlets, and linking company websites to the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters consumer website. We also appreciate all the assistance from the State Fruit & Vegetable Nutrition Coordinators who help to make eating more fruits and vegetables a priority in the minds of the communities they serve.  

Your support is key to our continued success, the health of the fruit and vegetable industry, as well as our consumers! I wish you a happy and healthy holiday and look forward to a productive and successful 2012.

Benefits of Early Exposure to Fruits and Vegetables

The International Fruit and Vegetable Alliance (IFAVA) recently gathered studies highlighting food preferences, consumption patterns, and the effect of early introduction of fruits and vegetables into children’s diets. Currently, data shows that young children are not consuming the recommended servings of vegetables. According to the Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study, 2008, patterns of vegetable consumption begin to deteriorate as early as the first year of life, with a shift of the amount and the type of vegetables consumed (by age two half the amount of white potatoes consumed were French fries).  

A study in the UK showed that exposing children to fruits and vegetables during the early weaning period can have a positive influence in the acceptance of foods and increased consumption in later childhood. Infants who were given more home cooked or raw fruits and vegetables at six months were significantly more likely to be eating fruits and vegetables at seven years of age.  

An additional study looked at repeated taste exposure to increase children’s liking for vegetables. Fourth and fifth graders at four elementary schools participated in the study with four weeks of tasting, a three-week break, and six more weeks of tasting. The children were offered small samples of freshly prepared vegetables in the cafeteria along with their regular lunch. The researchers found that after exposing the children to the same vegetables repeatedly, the “liking” increased over time.  

The studies point to effective ways for age-appropriate diet/nutrition interventions. Learn more about these studies by reading the full IFAVA newsletter

Social Media Marketing Expert Featured as Keynote Speaker at 2012 Annual Meeting

Social media is everywhere you look and is becoming a crucial piece to engaging customers, which is why PBH is excited to welcome Scott Stratten, president of, as its keynote speaker at the 2012 Annual Meeting. Mr. Stratten is best known for his social media marketing—more than 50,000 people follow him daily on Twitter and he’s ranked as one of the site’s top influences. 

Mr. Stratton’s clients’ viral marketing videos have been viewed more than 60 million times and generated massive profits and lists. One was chosen by the Chicago Bears as their biggest motivator. He has recently appeared in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Fast Company,, and 

You’ll want to join your colleagues to hear Mr. Stratton speak about how businesses can engage better with their current and potential customer base using social media, viral marketing, and engaging conversation. If you haven’t already reserved your spot, it’s easy with our online registration

The 2012 Annual Meeting will be held March 29 – March 31, 2012, at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa. For questions or assistance with registration, please contact Event Manager Sharese Alston

Don’t forget there is still time to become a supporter of the Annual Meeting and Dinner. Each year, this event brings together the private and public sector audiences to share new ideas and consumer research about fruit and vegetable consumption. Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Role Model and Champion Awards will be recognized at the Annual Meeting. Benefits correspond to the various sponsorship levels available. For more information, please contact Renee Bullion or Cyndy Dennis

PBH Thankful for In-Kind Contributions

Throughout the year many companies and individuals gave in-kind contributions and services in support of PBH’s annual meeting, marketing and communication efforts, and tradeshow and conference attendance totaling over $150,000! Special thanks and gratitude to: American Frozen Food Institute; Blue Print Services, Inc.; Colorful Harvest; Fresh Produce and Floral Council; Golden Sun Marketing; James Dykeman Design; Linkwell Health; Produce Business; Produce Marketing Association; Southeast Produce Council; Stemilt Growers, Inc.; Suzanne Wolter; and United Fresh Produce Association. 

PBH to Host Healthy Weight Twitter Party

PBH invites you to join us January 4, at 4:00 p.m. (EST) as we host a Reaching and Maintaining a Healthy Weight Twitter Party. Health and fitness is usually at the top of the list of New Year’s resolutions—fruits and vegetables play a key role and weight management. Healthy substitutions, low fat, and low calorie recipe ideas will be some of the topics covered. To participate, simply enter hashtag #HealthyWeight. 

PBH is pleased to recognize the following companies who have contributed their support of the Foundation from November 28, 2011 through December 6, 2011. 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.

Returning Trustees ($10,000+ Annual Contribution):
Nestle USA
Seneca Foods Corporation
SuperValu/W. Newell & Company
Ventura Foods

Returning Donors:
Aunt Mid's Produce Company
Babe Farms, Inc.
H. Brooks & Company
California Date Administrative Committee
Knouse Foods, Inc.
New England Produce Council
Robbie Flexibles
Unilever Best Foods/Country Crock
United Supermarkets, Ltd.


For more information, contact Kristen Stevens.


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