Monthly Shipping and Marketing Report | April 2022
Next Council meeting – June 23-24, 2022 – Minneapolis, MN
Open Positions on the Council (2023-2025 term):
Nominations are open for three open positions on the Council for the 2023-2025 term and one open position for a one-year term.
- Region 1 (All states except CA & PA) – two open positions (3-year terms)
- Region 2 (PA) – one open position (3-year term)
- Region 4 (Imports) – one open position for a 1-year term
Mushroom growers have ideas, skills, experiences and perspectives that would benefit the industry; be a voice for your industry by becoming part of the Council.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Mushroom Council encourages all eligible producers, including women, minorities and individuals with disabilities to participate and seek nomination.
To see current charts, click here.
The Month Ahead
PUBLIC RELATIONS & DIGITAL
- Mushroom Council is partnering with Kittch to celebrate Earth Month. Kittch is an online platform for chefs to interact with fans through video, livestreams, and interactive classes, bringing food from the professionals to you. All month long, Kittch will be sharing mushroom recipes and highlighting mushroom sustainability messaging. The Council is also collaborating with the Produce for Better Health Foundation for Earth Month content in April including a cook along with Cara Harbstreet on April 13 on the PBH Have A Plant Facebook page. Finally, the Council is also exhibiting at the RDBA Virtual Experience April 5-7 with one-on-one meetings scheduled with retail dietitians at H-E-B, Redner’s, Wegmans and Big Y, to name a few. See a full list of promotions here.
- In April, Mushrooms in Schools will be speaking at the 2022 National Child Nutrition Conference. Additionally, we will be highlighting mushroom’s sustainability to celebrate Earth Day. This will include activities on social media.
Highlights from March
PUBLIC RELATIONS & DIGITAL
- The Mushroom Council wrapped up another successful Feed Your Immune System campaign, partnering with Registered Dietitian Cara Harbstreet to showcase why The Blend fits with a variety of cuisines and diets. The Council concluded its month-long Feed Your Immune System recipe contest with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Culinary Professionals Dietary Practice Group. Next month a winner will be selected and all entries will be added to the recipe section on MushroomCouncil.com. A full campaign report will follow.
- We created two recipes, like Rainbow Potatoes, for Child and Adult Care Food Program sponsors to use. Mushrooms in Schools new resources, “Mighty Mushrooms & Friends”, elevated National CACFP Week while targeting this audience through our blog and social media. Amplify the work by retweeting this tweet and sharing this Facebook post.
- Mushrooms in Schools is exhibiting at the 2022 National Child Nutrition Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana during April 18-22. If you are interested in attending please register here or contact Malissa Marsden to discuss your involvement.
- Mushrooms in School created a pre-kindergarten nutrition education book, “Mighty Mushroom & Friends” for Child and Adult Care Food Program sponsors and school foodservice directors. The book and activity sheet can be found here. Please share on your own social channels and encourage your sales teams to share with your school foodservice clients and contacts.
Notable Impressions Highlights:
- February: Feed Your Immune System – February saw continued success for the FYIS campaign as numbers built and surpassed January metrics, especially on the website:
- The FeedYourImmuneSystem.com landing page received more than 150k pageviews in February – a 156% increase from January and 400% increase from ALL of Q1 2021 (1346% compared to February 2021).Avg. time on page stayed around 5 minute (4:59) – still surpassing the site average of 2-3 minutes.
- A majority of the traffic came from the FYIS banners ads (115,883 clicks to page from these ads). While we saw higher impressions for the banner ads in January, we changed bidding strategies to ensure we are reaching an engaged audience – which by evidence of clicks, we are.
Special Campaign Impressions
Includes paid promotions, partnerships and advertising activities.
Monthly Topline Report
Tracker Highlights – Period ending 03/20/2022
- Download March 2022 Retail Tracker
- Download March 2022 Fresh Mushroom Sales Review
- Download March 2022 Mushroom Retail Performance
Dollars, Units and Volume Performance
- Produce inflation continued to take the headlines in the four weeks ending March 20, 2022 versus the same period in 2021. Produce department sales reached $5.6 billion during the four-week period, which was up 5.0%. However, gains were inflation-driven with units down 4.9% and volume down 4.8% year-on-year. This translates in a continued 10-percentage point gap between dollars and pounds for total produce. Despite the inflationary boost, sales did not reach the incredible peaks of March 2020: two of the biggest weeks in the history of grocery retailing due to panic buying in advance of nationwide shelter-in-place mandates.
- That means the performance story for produce in general, and mushrooms specifically, continues to be driven by the three-way combination of the level of inflation, ability to meet product demand and the sales results in the first and second pandemic years. Many produce items, mushrooms included, are not lacking from consumer demand but rather the supply chain is struggling to meet the demand due to labor, transportation and other issues. Additionally, the greater the early pandemic spikes, the harder the road to continued growth. Fresh mushrooms were among the top 10 produce categories in absolute dollar growth for 52 straight weeks, creating a tough path for continued gains, especially in the light of limited supply.
- For the four weeks ending March 20, 2022, fresh mushroom dollars decreased 4.7% year-over year and volume declined by 9.1%. However, when compared with the pre-pandemic normal of 2019, both dollars (+10.6%) and volume (+0.9%) still trended positively.
- The effect of going up against the two record 2020 weeks is clearly seen in the week-by-week view below. Whereas the first two weeks in the review period trended positively versus 2020, both dollars and pounds decreased by double digits once reaching the week ending March 13th and 20th — the panic buying weeks of 2020. Compared to the first eight weeks of the year, dollars trended down a little on a per week basis, to around $25 million. Volume ranged from 5.5 to 5.9 million pounds.
- The total produce performance was heavily impacted by inflation in the quad week and year-to-date views. Total produce prices increased 9.8% during the four weeks ending March 20th on a per unit basis and 10.0% on a per pound basis. Fruit had the higher inflation but even vegetables increased to an average of $1.92 per pound, up 5.7% versus year ago in the four-week period. The increases in the price per pound for mushrooms during this same time period remained below average, at +4.9%. At the same time, at $2.79, the average ring for mushrooms is higher than that of many other vegetable categories for an overall average of $2.24 per unit.
- Fresh mushroom dollar and pounds were promoted less often. Less than 15% of dollars were promoted, down 4.2% from year ago when merchandising levels were down as well. In comparison, 22.3% of vegetable dollars were generated by items on promotion, which was an increase of 5.7% versus year ago.
Performance by segment
- White mushrooms represented 51.9% of total fresh mushroom sales and 59.0% of pounds in the four-week period. However, it was brown mushrooms, the combination of criminis and portabellas, that fared better. Brown mushrooms increased 15.4% in dollar sales versus two years ago (pre-pandemic) and 8.7% in volume. As such, brown mushrooms were solely responsible for driving volume gains versus 2020.
- Fixed versus random weight performance: The vast majority of fresh mushroom sales are fixed weight that also had the better dollar, unit and volume performance. While fixed weight was down 5.8% in the four-week period, random weight (loose/bulk) was down 16.9%.
- Organic versus conventional: Organic dollar sales made up 10.0% of total fresh mushroom sales in the four weeks. Organic mushrooms dollars increased year-on-year (+0.3%), but units and pounds were down.
- Cut/prepared versus whole mushrooms: Cut or prepared mushrooms made up 51.5% of dollar sales in the four-week period. Mushrooms without preparation had the better performance.
IRI, Integrated Fresh, MULO, 52 weeks ending 023/20/2022