(April 23, 12:34 p.m.) MONTEREY, Calif. — The Produce for Better Health Foundation has been successful in its quest to promote consumption by target “Generation X moms.”

At its April 17-19 spring board meeting, members of the Wilmington, Del. Based-foundation heard from outgoing chairman Mike O’Brien. He said the launch of the Fruits & Veggies — More Matters campaign in April 2007, replacing the 5 A Day program, was highly successful.

Mary DeGroat, chairwoman of the foundation’s consumer marketing and communications committee, said media outreach efforts resulted in 90.5 million viewings for the program. A Web site, www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org, launched in March 2007, has been highly successful in attracting Generation X moms.

“It has shown, through monthly Web analysis, to be a favored resource for moms and other consumers to seek nutrition and recipe information,” she said.

Using Google Adwords, she said the Web site generated more than 47 million ad impressions during the year and that there were 155,091 distinct visitors.

“The top performers — recipes, nutrition, seasonal and entertaining — are scrutinized based on overall performance of impressions and clicks to the site, which is directly tied to the power of the ad copy to prompt people to take action,” she said.

DeGroat said as of December, 96% of growers, shippers and processors licensed for the 5 a Day program had relicensed for More Matters, placing the foundation logo on 620 SKUs.

The focus of the foundation’s research projects and resulting brochures, catalogs, Web sites and marketing efforts will remain on Generation X moms, said Elizabeth Pivonka, president and chief executive officer.

“We chose women initially because they’re the primary gatekeepers of what the family eats and they’re also the primary gatekeepers of the health of the family,” she said. “We went to the younger moms with the children because they are out there seeking the information.”

Pivonka said because the foundation’s 2008 operating budget is $5.7 million, with expenses already mounting $5.86 million, the foundation has had to dip into its reserves to promote the More Matters program.

“It changes from year to year where our money comes from, with a little over half in contributions,” she said. “In the past, much of it was from catalog sales.”

She said the foundation would continue to seek alternative funding.

“The big thing that’s new this year and next year is trying to identify a sustainable funding source, so we don’t have to rely on contributions,” she said. “At the rate we’re growing we’ll be a $5 million to $8 million organization. I think there are opportunities for government funding. We probably just didn’t sell the case hard enough for the 2007 Farm Bill and I’m doing research to help build a better case.”


Elizabeth Pivonka (left), president and chief executive officer of the Wilmington, Del.-based Produce for Better Health Foundation, and outgoing PBH chairman Mike O’Brien spoke at the foundation's spring board meeting, held April 17-19. One year after the launch of the Fruits & Veggies — More Matters campaign, PBH said the results have been successful.