Letter from the CEO: Accelerating a Better-for-You Tomorrow
As I reflect on PHA’s efforts over the past year to drive healthier choices through partnerships with businesses, colleges, and food banks, “acceleration” is the word that best captures this stage of our work.
When we first began forging alliances between public and private industries, we were asking them to do something they’d never done before. Our work was guided by a clear strategy to engage with businesses to transform the marketplace with better-for-you choices; to create healthier environments; and to showcase the best of that work, with an eye toward accelerating it. Today – as a growing number of businesses see the value in offering healthier food and beverage choices and more opportunities for physical activity – we’re forming innovative collaborations that replicate and scale these best practices.
- Works with nine convenience store chains and five distributors that are sourcing, promoting, and driving sales of better-for-you products, speeding the industry’s drive toward change that is both profitable and healthier. Together, they reach more than 150 million customers each year at more than 2,000 locations across 37 states.
- Works with more than a dozen food banks, serving millions of low-income families, to source better-for-you foods and add fresh produce into their inventories.
- Supports 72 colleges and universities to offer better-for-you food options and more affordable opportunities for physical activity. Our Healthier Campus Initiative partners reach more than 1.65 million students, faculty and staff, and they continue to seek new ways to keep students moving and eating healthier.
- Works with 90+ celebrities – including five new additions brought on board this year – to promote fruits and vegetables under our Madison Avenue-styled FNV campaign, with the goal of increasing consumption of fresh produce wherever people may find it: at home, in restaurants, on campuses, and at food banks. We continue to push this campaign into new markets, influencing consumers who want their bodies to be fueled by the same foods that keep their favorite athletes at the top of their game.
While we have accomplished a great deal already, we must acknowledge that we are being outstripped by a culture that makes salty, fatty, sugary food accessible, cheap, and appealing. At the same time, omnipresent digital devices and cultural habits encourage sedentary lifestyles. We are up against a lot and must go even faster and harder at the problem, keeping our eyes and minds open to new paths forward.
As we look ahead to 2019 and beyond, we are challenging ourselves to embrace technology, artificial intelligence, and behavioral economics to further accelerate healthier trends. The stakes are high; we must continually push the marketplace to innovate and drive better-for you. We are committed to doing that.
Nancy E. Roman President & Chief Executive Officer Partnership for a Healthier America