The Produce for Better Health Foundation has named six retailers to its annual list of role models, its top honor.
Honorees for 2012 are Food Lion, Meijer, Roundy’s Supermarkets, Schnucks Markets, Spartan Stores and SuperValu. Among other contributions, representatives from the retailers served on the foundation board and committees and provided Fruits & Veggies — More Matters pages on their websites. It is the first time Roundy’s and Spartan received the recognition.
Ahold USA, Associated Wholesale Grocers, DeCA, Donelan’s Supermarkets, Hy-Vee, King Kullen, Redner’s Markets, Rohrer Brothers Inc. and Weis Markets were named PBH Champions for their contributions.
The Fruits & Veggies — More Matters initiative increased its retail presence in 2012, adding 22 new licensees for the logo — a 7% increase over 2011 — and 170 new stock-keeping units, according to a year-end report from the foundation.
Fruits & Veggies — More Matters is the nonprofit’s public health initiative promoting the benefits of produce consumption.
Its website recorded a 27% increase in monthly unique visitors, to 115,921, and a 27% rise in e-mail participants, to 91,066. Twitter followers more than doubled, to more than 23,000, and Facebook fans were up by a factor of nearly four, to about 83,700.
The Hockessin, Del.-based foundation plans to have its annual conference March 13-15 in San Francisco. More than 25 retail banners are expected to participate, representing more than 8,000 stores.
“The individual and collective efforts of our board of trustees, donors, supporters and staff does make a difference when it comes to extending the reach of our core messages to the consumer as they continue to increase fruit and vegetable consumption,” Elizabeth Pivonka, foundation president, said in a news release.
Fresh produce isn’t the foundation’s only mission. In 2012 it increased its promotion of processed fruits and vegetables using “all forms” graphics and messaging across platforms, and created a document aimed at debunking common concerns about canned and other processed items.
In December the online Journal of Food Studies published the foundation’s “Behavioral Economics and the Psychology of Fruit & Vegetable Consumption: A Scientific Overview 2012.” The 31-page paper reviews literature on the subject.