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Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) will play host to 20 supermarket dietitians at a three-day educational session scheduled to take place during the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit in Anaheim, Calif., which runs Oct.26-28. Boasting a timely and relevant agenda developed in collaboration with registered dietitians, the session will feature several presentations on fruit and vegetable trends, marketing, sales and consumption, field tours, networking opportunities, as well as dedicated time on the show floor.
Representatives from Bashas’, Brookshire Bros., Buy for Less, Hannaford Brothers, H-E-B, Meijer, No Frills Supermarkets, Northgate Markets, Price Chopper, Redner’s, Safeway, Skogen’s Festival Foods, Spartan, Supervalu, ShopRite, Wegmans and Weis Markets are expected to attend. The invited participants’ reach encompasses more than 5,700 stores.
Hockessin, Del.-based PBH is presenting the inaugural session in recognition of the important role dietitians play in stores and with shoppers, in response to the nonprofit foundation’s consumer research conducted in early 2012, and the organization’s position that dietitians continue to be an untapped marketing opportunity for the fruit and vegetable industry.
About 80 percent of all fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States come from the home, with the bulk purchased from grocery stores, club stores, and supercenters. Additionally, when asked which communication method they find most effective when making food decisions, primary shoppers ranked supermarket flyers/newspaper ads and supermarket display signs highest – even above television and radio. And when it comes to finding out how to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into meals and snacks, primary shoppers said they look first to the Internet, followed by nutritionists or dietitians, and then supermarkets.
“Fruit and vegetable marketers and supermarkets should think of ways to maximize dietitians’ knowledge and their in-store presence,” noted PBH president and CEO Elizabeth Pivonka, “especially since supermarkets continue to be the most efficient method to influence shopper purchases, since most fruit and vegetables consumed are primarily purchased through grocery stores, since fruits and vegetables are profitable for supermarkets, and because shoppers respect dietitians.”
PBH is a member and co-chair with Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) of the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance (NFVA), which consists of government agencies, nonprofits and industry working together to achieve increased nationwide access and demand for all forms of fruits and vegetables for improved public health.