Finding traction in social media circles has helped the Produce for Better Health Foundation successfully deliver on its business plan.

“We surpassed our goals when it comes to implementing the program and social media is at the top of the list,” said Elizabeth Pivonka, president of PBH, Hockessin, Del. “It really picked up steam the latter half of the year. More people retweet your stuff and more people know about you and it just continues to grow.”

FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org had a 31% increase in average monthly visits in 2011, according to a news release. In addition, there was a 22% increase in opt-in mail participants and a 33% gain in links from websites with “gov” and “org” suffixes, and a doubling of links from commerical websites, according to the release.

Facebook fans (22,817) have increased nine-fold since 2010 and Twitter followers (9,971) have tripled since 2010.

PBH said that 48 organizations met Role Model status and 22 met Champion status in 2011. The Role Models included ten retailers, 31 grower/shipper/suppliers and seven public health organizations. For the year, 143 new stock-keeping units were approved with the More Matters logo, and there was a 6% increase in the number of new licensees for the year, 19 more than 2010.

Other gains included:

  • Media impressions: Fruits & Veggies — More Matters media impressions for 2011 totaled 3.1 billion;
  • Moms: PBH reported a jump in moms’ “intention to serve” more fruits and vegetables,” from 66% in 2010 to 76% in 2011. Moms said they were more likely to purchase a product with the More Matters logo, with 47% in 2011, up from 40% in 2009; and
  • Two new literature reviews have been posted on PBHFoundation.org, one about health benefits of fruits and vegetables and the other about behavior change research.

Pivonka said she will share 2011 results in more detail with attendees at PBH’s Annual Meeting, March 29-31 in Monterey Bay, Calif.