Monthly Shipping and Marketing Report | April 2017
April 3, 2017
- The North American Mushroom Conference is June 21-23, 2017 in Quebec, Canada. Registration is open!
- The next Council meeting will take place on June 20-21, 2017 in Quebec, Canada. If you would like to attend, please let us know so we can make sure you are accommodated.
- Call for nominations for three positions on the Council for the 2018-2020 term. Positions are in Regions 1 (All states except CA & PA), 2 (PA) & 4 (Importers). Nominations are due by May 1st.
- 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 encourage all eligible producers, including women, minorities and individuals with disabilities to participate and seek nomination.
To see current charts, click here.
The Month Ahead
- The Council is meeting with The Fresh Market to introduce The Blend and discuss promotional opportunities. The Fresh Market focuses on the value of supporting local growers and charities, while offering the freshest food available. They have over 170 store locations.
- Schnucks is a supermarket chain established in the St. Louis area. It operates 97 stores in five states throughout the Midwest. It is one of the most respected and largest privately held supermarket chains in the United States. The Council is meeting with staff to discuss the possibility of launching The Blend in their stores.
- Dierbergs is a high-end supermarket chain based in Chesterfield, Missouri that dominates the St. Louis grocery marketplace. The Council will meet to discuss The Blend and promotional opportunities available for a successful launch.
- “The Mushroom Sustainability Story” campaign toolkit is available here. We encourage you to leverage the materials (social graphics, handouts etc.) next month for Earth Month (April).
- In conjunction with The Mushroom Sustainability promotions, the Council will be hosting a contest that encourages consumers to take The Mushroom Sustainability IQ quiz to receive a special promo code, then are asked to take the Blenditarian Pledge. For each pledge received by Earth Day (with the promo code), The Council will donate $0.25 to The Conservation Fund. As a bonus, those who pledge, will be entered to win a mushroom mini farm set + a $100 Whole Foods gift card. Be sure to follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and share this contest across your own social channels (TIP: Use the Graphics from the kit to create your own posts!)
- Retail dietitians will have the opportunity this month to show us they’re Blenditarians! In partnership with Retail Dietitians Business Alliance, The Council is sponsoring the Retail RD Blenditarian Recipe Contest, with a winning prize of a $1,000 stipend for an education conference of their choice. The winning recipe will be featured at the RDBA networking event at FNCE 2017 in Chicago. To enter, retail dietitians will create an original Blend recipe that will be judged on creativity, appropriateness for use in demoing or for a retail fresh department, and flavor. Encourage your retail partners and retail dietitian contacts to submit a recipe for a chance to win! You can direct them here for the official rules and guidelines of the contest.
- JBF and Council will begin to promote the Blended Burger Project™ to independent restaurants, colleges and other accounts. Use the new and improved materials to encourage your favorite restaurants to develop a burger, menu it and register at www.jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject.
Highlights from March
- The Council had a meeting with Amazon Fresh to discuss The Blend and promotional opportunities on their site to promote The Blend to their shopper base. Activities could include Blend video content and “pre-determined” easy-to-order ingredients to make The Blend at home.
- The Council invited retailers to attend the Blended Burger Project™ launch events being held in local markets: Boston, Louisville, Sacramento and New Orleans in May. Your attendance at these events will assist retailers to adopt, launch and expand The Blend at retail. Please contact the Council for more information about attending these events.
- Blenditarian.com, a microsite designed to foster an online community of Blend advocates and fans has officially launched. The website features Blend recipes, tutorials and a pledge form to join the movement. Take the Blenditarian pledge: www.blenditarian.com.
- Blend Branding Guidelines have been added to the 2017 Blend Toolkit to help ensure consistency in message hierarchy and style. Send this piece to your in-house marketing team for reference when creating marketing pieces with Blend messaging.
- The Council sponsored the 7th Annual Oldways Supermarket RD Symposium in Scottsdale, AZ, March 19-21st. As a sponsor, The Council had the opportunity to engage with over 50 retail dietitians over the course of three days. We sampled Blended Meatballs and 38 dietitians took the Blenditarian pledge (76% of attendees!) As a result of our efforts, many retail RDNs are looking forward to promoting The Blend to their shoppers and retail management this year. Attendees also received the updated RD Toolkit, share this link with your sales staff so they may pass it along to your retailer’s dietitian.
- Retail dietitians from Big Y and Reasor’s both did Facebook Live videos on The Blend and offered mushroom swag giveaways for their shoppers. You can view and share Reasor’s video here and Big Y’s video here. Total reach: 13,000+ .
- Reasor’s RDs are highlighting mushrooms as a Dietitian Approved pick of the week with signage next to the mushroom display in produce. Many retailers have “dietitian approved” programming and signage. Ask your customers if they have retail dietitians on staff with their own “Dietitian approved” shelf tags and show them the Retail Dietitian Toolkit to educate them that mushrooms would be a great fit.
- The Blend the Rules Contest, for School Nutrition Professionals, was once again featured in the March Issue of School Nutrition Magazine. The Deadline for entries is April 15, 2017. Find the complete campaign toolkit here www.mushroomcouncil.org/school-nutrition and share with your community and customers to encourage participation.
- The Blend will be the subject of a panel at the upcoming Produce for Better Health annual conference. If you are attending, Pamela Smith, RD, and Rafi Teheran will be presenting, Blended & Better: Strategies for Improving Flavor & Increasing Demand for Fruit & Vegetables on Thursday, April 6 at 10:45am.
- We’re serving blended burger sliders and recruiting attendees to pledge to be Blenditarians at the Austin Food & Wine Festival (April 29 – 30).
- Today’s Dietitian Symposium May 21st – 24th, New Orleans, LA: Today’s Dietitian (TD) Symposium is the only other national conference for dietitians besides Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE). TD Symposium draws in 600 dietitians from all different specialties, including retail. The Council will be exhibiting at the conference, sampling Blend recipes and encouraging RDs to take the Blenditarian pledge.
Tracker Highlights from 01/22/2016*
- In the 4-weeks – Category dollars down amidst volume declines.
- In the 52-weeks – White mushrooms dominate category sales and growth.
Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy: Click here for the full report.
* IRI/FreshLook Data provided by Fusion Marketing