The Packer’s Tom Karst visits March 24 with Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, president and CEO of the Produce for Better Health Foundation about PBH’s recent consumer-facing activity in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Consumers want to take a break from the desperation at the same time they are looking for inspiration,” she said. “They are looking for ways to keep busy and well-nourished at home.”

With concerns about COVID-19 and expected publicity about the Dirty Dozen to be rekindled, Reinhardt Kapsak said fruits and vegetables can play a role in enhancing the health of Americans.

“We have long said that the single-most important action that Americans can take for both their health and their happiness is to eat and enjoy more fruits and vegetables every single day,” she said.

“(Eating) fruits and vegetables is an amazing way to boost a healthy immune system and hopefully stay healthy, and there also is an opportunity with fruits and vegetables to enjoy food rooted in a better mood.” 

Consuming more fruits and vegetables can give people an overall greater sense of life satisfaction and happiness, she said. “We’re looking at that bright spot in this challenging time.”

PBH is also using its Fruit and Vegetable Ambassadors in Action to communicate about the safety of fruits and vegetables in view of the COVID-19 outbreak and other food safety related issues, she said.

“We have some amazing people that are super-seasoned on how to handle those consumer concerns and fears, Reinhardt Kapsak said.
In a news release, PBH said it is taking several steps to communicate with consumers:

  • Putting in place a dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 webpage on the PBH Website, goal of this page, according to the release, is to help calm consumers’ fears over “unsafe” fruits and vegetables and to arm them with coronavirus COVID-19 related resources to ensure they have the information they need to stay informed. 
  • A new series on the PBH homepage is called Powerful Produce for Immune Support, offering existing content from the PBH site as well as new content generated from PBH’s Fruit and Vegetable Ambassadors in Action;
  • Using a social media campaign showcasing the people who grow, pack, ship and offer fruits and vegetables in retail and foodservice every day. > PBH Fruit and Vegetable Ambassadors in Action Activation : To assist in populating PBH’s social channels with positive produce content now and over the next several months, PBH has activated the group’s ambassadors in action with a call for content on anything related to selecting, serving, savoring and storing fruits and vegetables, especially as it relates to the current COVID-19 situation, according to the release.
  • “Dirty Dozen” Issues Management: With the release of the “Dirty Dozen” list from the Environmental Working Group on March 25, PBH plans to activate and amplify messaging going out on behalf of its partner organization, the Alliance for Food and Farming.
  • The 2020 State of the Plate 2.0 Research report will be released alongside the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and will confront the health and well-being of America with actionable insights, according to the release. PBH research platform will help elevate new fruit and vegetable consumption behaviors as a national priority and accelerate transformative growth, according to the release.


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