A dramatic escalation in Fruits & Veggies — More Matters media impressions highlights a mid-year business plan report from the Produce for Better Health Foundation.

The Hockessin, Del.-based group said that media impressions through the Fruits & Veggies — More Matters campaign totaled 4.2 billion, up from 1.4 billion through the second quarter of last year. The large number is credited to an expanded reach through social media channels, notably Facebook and Twitter, according to Elizabeth Pivonka, president and chief executive officer of the Hockessin, Del.-based Produce for Better Health Foundation.

“The Internet outreach and the media impressions alone have surpassed our expectations, and a lot of that we attribute to social media,” Pivonka said Aug. 9.

Pivonka said the Fruits & Veggies — More Matters web site is often quoted and linked to by the media and health professionals.

After a relatively slow start in the first quarter, the end of the second quarter of 2012 saw total media impressions for PBH reach 4.2 billion, or 135% of the yearly goal of 3.1 billion, according to the report.

PBH annual consumer research generated plentiful “news hooks” in the second quarter, which were amplified by active social media work, Pivonka said.

PBH Twitter followers, at more than 17,000 by the end of the second quarter, are already at 96% of the annual goal. Facebook fans, at more than 36,000 are 61% of the 2012 goal.

The percentage of licensed retail members remained at 88% through the second quarter, short of the annual goal of 92%, according to the report.