Episode 52: Help Yourself and Have a Plant with Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak

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The Produce Moms Podcast

Episode 52: Help Yourself and Have a Plant with Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN

“The new generations of Millenials and Gen-Zers are passionate about the connection between food and agriculture, and they’re passionate about plant-based diets.” – Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak (5:18 – 5:29)


Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN is the CEO and President of the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH). She is a leader within the agriculture and produce industry. And she has re-invigorated PBH. Wendy has also played an integral role in creating the innovative ‘Have a Plant’ campaign that seeks to reshape how Americans eat so they can lead happier, healthier lives.

The ‘Have a Plant’ Campaign is Changing the Way America Eats

The Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is an organization whose mission is to create an environment that encourages people to include fruits and vegetables with every meal they eat. They aim to educate and bring awareness to the public about the numerous benefits of eating a diet that is rich in fresh produce.

They’ve previously brought us the 5 A Day campaign that recommended that we eat at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health issues, based on advice from the World Health Organization (WHO). PBH was also behind the More Matters campaign, which recommended a higher amount of fresh produce for some Americans, based on updated research.

“As a member of the fresh produce industry, and as someone who has the privilege of working with farmers here in America as well as globally, I am very passionate about how we are going to take ownership of this plant-forward movement.” – Lori Taylor (7:09 – 7:35)

While these campaigns succeeded in bringing awareness to Americans about the importance of eating fruits and veggies, they weren’t moving the needle on actual consumption in a significant way. ‘Have a Plant’ is the latest campaign from PBH that aims to not only educate consumers but also to encourage them to take action when it comes to consuming enough fresh produce.

Although the message of increased vegetable consumption can apply to everyone, the Have a Plant campaign is heavily focused on reaching the Millennial and Gen Z consumers. And given that almost 90 percent of Americans still don’t eat the recommended amount of fresh produce regularly, now is the perfect time for this new initiative from PBH. The ‘Have a Plant’ campaign is a call-to-action for consumers to make better consumption choices and improve their quality of life.

Addressing the Root

The Have a Plant campaign is not only based on nutrition science, but also on behavioral science. What researchers have found is that when people hear terms like “plant-based”, they often think of vegan or vegetarian diets. However, plant-based can include a variety of diets as long as fresh fruits and vegetables are an integral part of them. PBH has done extensive research on the psychology behind food consumption, and they have crafted the ‘Have a Plant’ campaign in a way that encourages consumers to take action when it comes to eating more fresh produce. The campaign seeks to invite people to make better food choices, instead of preaching to them, an approach more aligned with the preferences of the Millenials and Gen-Zers.

The Research Behind ‘Have a Plant’

Inspired by global research, PBH decided to take a more in-depth look into the conversations and behaviors that shape our daily food choices, and how they affect our quality of life. They leveraged data from social media and documented the food choice journeys of the younger people, their primary target for the ‘Have a Plant’ campaign. They found that more fresh produce people consume, both in terms of the number of days per week and the overall quantity, the more likely they are to experience higher life satisfaction and happiness. The research also looked into how certain food choices influenced the consumer’s emotions.

With all of the newly available data, PBH created the ‘Have a Plant’ campaign in a way that is focused on the consumer’s knowledge, emotions, and actions. Instead of only providing information about the benefits of fruits and veggies, which most people are already aware of, this new campaign aims to influence people to act on their knowledge, to eat more fresh produce, and live a happier and healthier life.

“Everything PBH will do going forward will be based on what the consumers know about plant-based diets, the emotions they feel, and the actions they take when it comes to food choices.” – Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak (26:33 – 26:44)

Most of us are still not eating the recommended amount of fresh produce regularly. This creates a perfect opportunity for the produce industry to join forces with an innovative campaign like ‘Have a Plant,’ and to take a leadership role as consumers keep shifting towards plant-forward diets. The American farmers that grow our fruits and veggies, the produce industry, and PBH all share a common purpose – to help consumers make better food choices so that they can live happier and healthier lives.


Learn More about PBH


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Episode 52: PBH


[bctt tweet=”Emotions, Passion and Connection are at the root of the @fruits_veggies #HaveAPlant campaign. Learn more on Episode 52 of #TheProduceMoms #Podcast!” username=”theproducemom”]

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About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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