Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) will host 20 supermarket dietitians for a 3-day educational session to be held during PMA’s Fresh Summit in Anaheim, California.
The session will include various presentations focused on fruit and vegetable trends, marketing, sales, consumption, field tours, networking opportunities and dedicated time on the show floor. A sub-group of the RD’s helped to frame the agenda, ensuring the session will be relevant and informative. Dietitians from Bashas, Brookshire Brothers, Buy for Less, Hannaford Brothers, HEB, Meijer, No Frills Supermarkets, Northgate Markets, Price Chopper, Redner’s, Safeway, Skogen’s Festival Foods, Spartan, SuperValu, Wakefern/ShopRite, Wegman’s and Weis Markets will attend, representing more than 5,700 stores.
PBH is hosting this inaugural educational session with supermarket dietitians in recognition of the important role they play in the store and with shoppers, in response to PBH consumer research conducted in early 2012, and PBH’s knowledge and belief that they continue to be an untapped marketing opportunity for the fruit and vegetable industry. Roughly 80% of all of the fruit and vegetables consumed in the U.S. comes from the home. While it’s difficult to determine how much comes from home gardens and farmer’s markets, the bulk of year-round fruit and vegetables that are consumed are purchased from grocery stores, club stores and supercenters – as opposed to restaurants or eating out.
Adding to that, supermarket flyers/newspaper ads and signs on supermarket displays rank highest, even higher than television and radio, among primary shoppers in terms of which communication method they find most effective when it comes to making a food decision. When it comes to finding out how to incorporate more fruit and vegetables, specifically into meals and snacks, primary shoppers say they look first to the Internet, followed by the nutritionist or dietitian and then the supermarket.
“Fruit and vegetable marketers and supermarkets should think of ways to maximize dietitian’s knowledge and their in-store presence,” says Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., president and CEO of PBH. “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.”