Produce for Better Health Foundation’s annual conference, The Consumer Connection, held March 13-15, 2013 in San Francisco delivered a strong informational program, notable speakers, appointment-driven networking sessions between retailers and industry members, and more, to just under a record-setting 200 attendees. The agenda consisted of committee meetings plus two full days of informative presentations and educational sessions focusing on topics such as: A retail panel; a presentation on the role of fruit and vegetables in a changing health and wellness environment; a fruit and veggie culinary demonstration; a presentation on how to identify and market to target audiences; a consumer research session focused on the ‘six degrees of balanced healthy’; and an interactive session with industry and food bloggers. Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) also recognized 38 Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Role Models within the fruit and vegetable industry and public health community, and 12 Champions during a special luncheon. One of the highlights of the conference was the Business Exchange Roundtables where retailers, consisting of buyers, supermarket dietitians, and supermarket health and wellness personnel, met one-on-one with industry members. With the help of conference sponsors, PBH was able to bring 30 retailers to the conference, many of whom were first-time attendees.
“The 2013 PBH annual conference was one of our best yet,” said Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., president and CEO of PBH. “I and other members of the PBH staff in attendance received numerous positive comments about the agenda, the line-up of speakers, the venue and location, and the presence of the health & wellness retailer personnel. Many attendees liked the changes we made to the annual conference such as including more educational sessions, a field tour, and bringing the retailers to the conference. We are excited to build upon the positives, and lessons learned from this year and begin work on our 2014 conference.”