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PBH to Connect Produce Industry With Retail Dietitians, Foodservice Leaders

Immersion event at IFPA show bridges gaps among groups and consumers
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This year, for the first time, PBH's immersion event at IFPA's Global Produce & Floral Show will include foodservice leaders.

After a two-year hiatus, the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) will bring 20-plus retail dietitians and foodservice leaders to its 2022 Retail & Foodservice Immersion Event, held during the Washington, D.C.-based International Fresh Produce Association’s (IFPA) Global Produce & Floral Show, scheduled for Oct. 26-29 in Orlando, Fla. 

This year, for the first time, PBH will include a group of foodservice leaders to further support the produce industry’s need to meet consumers where they are influenced to choose fruits and vegetables at the point of purchase. The PBH event provides retail and foodservice leaders with access to the latest produce innovations and new consumer research and insights, along with tools to spur new fruit and vegetable consumption habits online, in-store and in foodservice establishments across the country.

“PBH is thrilled to be back in person supporting one of the industry’s largest trade shows, as well as connecting produce companies directly with consumers through the various points of influence – including at the point-of-sale (retail) and at the point-of-flavor (culinary and foodservice),” noted Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, president and CEO of Brentwood, Mo.-based PBH, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. “The goal of this signature PBH event is to provide retail and foodservice leaders with actionable education and intimate networking experiences that inspire them to get creative with fruits and vegetables and take back ideas and solutions that help drive produce consumption and purchases in their stores, in e-commerce and in dining establishments nationwide.”  

The PBH Retail & Foodservice Immersion Event offers various educational and experiential programs over four days. Education sessions will cover such timely topics as new PBH research and consumer insights; other features include experiences such as tastings and a private chef-led dinner, and focus groups centered on retail and foodservice promotion, activation and collaboration ideas.

The program will culminate with pre-scheduled booth visits on the IFPA show floor for produce leaders to share new products, sustainable packaging solutions and other consumer-centric initiatives with the retail and foodservice leaders. PBH will amplify the experience on social media so consumers can get a taste of the latest produce trends.

“This year’s event is particularly exciting because it immerses a new group of retail dietitians and foodservice leaders into the world of produce,” said Sharese Roper, PBH’s industry and partner engagement senior director. “Uniting these groups drives collaboration – and profits – with meaningful promotions that inspire life-changing habits and behavior change among today’s consumers. This is a powerful opportunity for industry leaders to tell their story, unveil new products and share key insights that will directly influence shopper and diner decisions across the nation – efficiently and effectively from the show floor. This is a win-win for all, and most importantly, the common consumer like me striving to be happier and healthier each day.”

“At PBH, we are focused on elevating fruit and vegetable consumption as a national priority,” added Kapsak. “We know eating more fruits and vegetables is the single most important action Americans can take to live happier, healthier lives. We can’t do this alone. We’re proud to partner with our sponsors on this event, where we can connect influencers with the produce industry in order to make an impact. Together, through the Have A Plant Movement, we can truly inspire lifelong fruit and vegetable consumption habits at every eating occasion, every day.”

[Read more: "Plants: An Inflation Opportunity for Grocers"]

2022 Retail & Foodservice Immersion Event participating retailers are Big Y Foods, Coborn’s, Fresh Thyme, The Giant Co., Harmons Grocery Stores, H-E-B, The Kroger Co., Loblaws, Natural Grocers, Rouses, ShopRite-Inserra Supermarkets Inc., Stop & Shop, United Supermarket, Wegmans Food Markets and Weis Markets. The event will also feature foodservice leaders from Bloomin’ Brands; Compass Group, North America; Little Ceasars; Sodexo; UMass Dining; and Yale Hospitality. Sponsors of the event as of Aug. 15 include Chelan Fresh, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Michigan Apple Committee, Pear Bureau Northwest Seneca Foods, Stemilt Growers LLC and The Wonderful Co.

PBH staff will also be on-site at the IFPA Global Produce & Floral Show to discuss strategic partnerships and PBH sponsorships.

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