Monthly Shipping and Marketing Report | August 2017
Council Meeting: The next Council meeting will take place on September 7-8 in Kennett Square, PA. If you would like to attend, please let us know so we can make sure you are accommodated.
Save the Date: As the PA regional had to be cancelled because of weather, there will be a Regional meeting in PA in the early evening of Wednesday, September 6. More details to follow shortly.
Nominations: Background forms of eligible nominees are currently being compiled and will be sent to the Secretary of Agriculture for possible appointment.
To see current charts, click here.
The Month Ahead
- We will launch our back-to-school promotion which spotlights how The Blend can make dinnertime, and busy back to school season, simple. Follow along on social media as we launch our “One Blend, Four Dinners” recipe video that spotlights the versatility and ease that The Blend can bring to 4 different weeknight meals.
- The Blended Burger Project™ will has officially come to an end, with 385 restaurants participating. The winners will be announced in the coming weeks, be sure to watch for updates on our social channels.
- The Council will promote The Blend at Harps Food Stores with a Blend demo on August 11th. Banner and posters will be sent to Harps to publicize the event. Harps is a chain of 90 supermarkets located in Springdale, Arkansas with stores located across Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas. If you ship to Harps Food Stores, you can amplify the support of The Blend by encouraging staff in the produce, meat or deli departments to carry The Blend. You can also attend the event on August 11. Shippers are also encouraged to run promotions during the same timeframe.
- The Council has a conference call with Meijer on August 9th to discuss promotional ideas and planning for a February execution. Shippers can begin thinking about how they can amplify the support of The Blend for those that ship to Meijer.
- Pink Promotion: Display the mushroom industry support of City of Hope cancer research this October with pink tills and labels (from 9/14-11/15). All labels and Point Of Sale information can be found here. To participate contact the Mushroom Council.
- Reasons to Participate:
1. Supporting the worthy cause of National Breast Cancer Awareness month.
2. City of Hope’s invaluable research on mushrooms and cancer.
3. Increased sales of mushrooms. During the October 2016 promotion period, total U.S. mushrooms increased by 3.3% over the prior four week sales period. Total U.S. dollar sales of the White segment increased by 4% while Brown mushroom sales grew by 1.1% during the same period 6.2% during the same period.
- Reasons to Participate:
- The Mushroom Council will begin to promote the Blended Burger Project™ Campus Edition this month. This special edition is exclusively for colleges and universities. Materials to promote the contest to your customers and consumer following will be available for downloaded from the Blended Burger Project™ Campus Edition Marketing Toolkit.
- We will work with Chef Lance Avery, Big Fork Brands, to serve blended sliders at the Denver Burger Battle on August 3, in Tivoli Quad Park. If you will be in the area and would like to attend, please reach out to Hollyj@harvest-pr.com for a discount code on tickets.
- We also will, once again, be working with Chef Lance Avery to serve blended burgers to attendees at the 77th Annual Sturgis Rally, in South Dakota, on August 10 at a benefit for the Sturgis Museum and Hall of Fame; follow us social media (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram) as we post real-time updates from the event.
- The Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) is taking place October 21-24, in Chicago. The Council will be hosting a cocktail reception for dietitian influencers. If you have any dietitian contacts you would like to have attend, please let us know.
- The Council will attend the FPFC Southern California luncheon on August 9. The luncheon will feature City of Hope, which supports the Council’s Go Pink program during October. It is a great networking opportunity to promote fresh mushrooms and The Blend. The Council’s board members, staff and agencies are invited to attend the luncheon at 12pm.
Highlights from July
- We sponsored the Burgers, Brews and Bluegrass Block Party at the Slow Food Nations Conference in Denver, Colorado on Saturday, July 15th. Read the recap here.
- RDBA announced its winner of the Retail RD Blenditiarian Recipe Contest. Reasor’s dietitian Heather Steele, went home with the winning prize for her Chicken Parm Blended Burger. Overall, we had 21 entries which will be promoted on MushroomsAtRetail.com. A press release announcing the winner is being sent out to 600 media outlets via RDBA. Share the news with your customers to show them how retail dietitians are developing Blend recipes for their retailers to demo in-store or sell in fresh departments.
- The Council hosted a webinar with RDBA this month – 116 retail RDs registered and 71 attended. The results of poll questions asked during the webinar helps to confirm the progress and success of the retail nutrition program. We found:
- Awareness of The Blend has significantly improved among this channel. Last year, 62% of attendees were hearing about The Blend for the first time, while this year only 33% were hearing about it for the first time.
- More retail RDs have promoted The Blend this year compared to last year (20% compared to 11%).
- The Council met with Albertsons’ headquarters in Boise, ID. Albertsons will test The Blend at Andronico’s Community Markets (upscale stores in San Francisco). Shippers can support The Blend by visiting Andronico’s stores during the testing period to encourage staff in the produce and deli departments to also carry The Blend.
- The Mushroom Council exhibited at the the 71st annual School Nutrition Annual Conference. Council associates, including the well respected Dayle Hayes and Malissa Marsden, engaged with hundreds of attendees, sampling Mini Blended Meatloaf and Simple Sautéed Mushrooms. We displayed our brand new banners, handed out recipe cards and a newly developed 50 Mushroom Recipes Menu Calendar.
- The Council announced our new Blended Burger Project™: Campus Edition, which is open exclusively to chefs at U.S. colleges and universities, at the National Associate of College and University Foodservice (NACUFS) National Conference, held July 12-14. We sampled Cedar’s Cafe Blended Burger & Wood’s Kitchen Blended Burger to over 50 chefs.
Tracker Highlights from 06/11/2017*
Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy: Click here for the full report.
- In the 4-weeks – Mushroom category growth outpaces total produce
- In the 52-weeks – Organic mushrooms account for 55% of category dollar gains
* IRI/FreshLook Data provided by Fusion Marketing