Monthly Shipping and Marketing Report | March 2017
March 6, 2017
- Industry Roundtable Meetings: RSVP to: Cheryl@mushroomcouncil.org
During the meeting, the latest in Council marketing initiatives, a retail program spotlight and an overview of the Blend marketing strategy and what that means for your business will be presented. Council staff and Council nutritionist Kara Lydon RD, Retail program manager Steven Muro, and Strategic Consultant Dr. Mark Lang will all present during the roundtables. Lunch will be served to start the meeting. The value of the Council to the industry is strengthened by industry input and support; please attend and offer your point of view.
- March 14, 2017 at the Italian American Club located at 30 Ways Lane, Kennett Square, PA; 11:45am – 1:15pm (lunch included)
- March 15, 2017 at the Hilton Garden Inn located at 6070 Monterey Rd, Gilroy, CA; 11:45am – 1:15pm (lunch included)
- March 15, 2017 – Webinar 8:30am Pacific/10:30am Central/11:30am Eastern
- You must register to participate: Register here: GoToWebinar
- Meeting Agenda:
- 12:15pm – 1:15pm
- 2016/2017 Marketing Program Review
- Retail and Supermarket Dietitian Spotlight
- Blend Strategy Overview & Timeline
- Council Program Q&A
- 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 retail dietitians from two retailers, Big Y and Reasor’s are engaging a new social media platform, Facebook Live, to promote The Blend to their shoppers. You can watch the videos live and join in on the conversation with shoppers on March 2nd (Big Y’s Eating Well Living Smart) and March 8th (Reasor’s Healthy Living). The Council is supporting the social campaigns by providing mushroom swag as a giveaway item to incentivize consumers to join the live video.
- The Mushroom Council has a meeting with Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, which is a fast-growing, full-service specialty retailer focused on fresh, healthy, natural and organic products. Stores are located throughout the Midwest. The Council will be meeting with the VP of Perishables to discuss incorporating The Blend in their meat, deli and produce departments.
- Nugget Markets is an upscale supermarket chain operating in the greater Sacramento metropolitan area. The Council will be meeting with Nugget Markets in March to discuss The Blend and promotional opportunities.
- The Council has a meeting with Amazon Fresh to discuss The Blend and promotional opportunities on their site pages including video content and events.
- Stay tuned for a campaign toolkit to promote “The Mushroom Sustainability Story” in time for Earth Month (April). The toolkit will be shared in a webinar on March 16, which you can register for here.
- March is National Nutrition Month! We’re touting mushrooms’ versatile nutrient mix on social media throughout the month. Here are some easy key messages to adapt for your own use.
- School districts have one more month to submit their mushroom recipes to the Blend the Rules contest. Encourage your local districts to participate. You can also share the campaign with your distributor customers to share with their school customers to increase campaign participation. Find the complete campaign toolkit here www.mushroomcouncil.org/school-nutrition and share with your community and customers to encourage participation. Campaign ends April 2017.
- Share the Blend the Rules campaign informational handout with your local districts and produce distributors that call on the school market.
- Share the campaign information on your company social channels using the pre-developed social messaging images found in the toolkit.
- The most innovative use of mushrooms by a school will be awarded a total of $8,000 in Farm to School Grant money for their district.
- The Mushroom Council and the James Beard Foundation have been invited to speak at two regional NACUFS (National Association of College and University).
- Foodservice) meetings, March 12 – 15, 2017, Groton, CT and March 15 – 17, 2017, Santa Fe, NM, with hundreds of college dining directors attending. The presentations will be geared to generating interest in the Special Edition, on Campus Blended Burger Project™ and demonstrate the benefit of The Blend for campus dining.
- At a separate NACUFS regional meeting, March 19 – 22, 2017, Iowa City, Iowa, the Mushroom Council has been invited to host a panel on The Blend, with Dining Directors/Executive Chefs from Yale, University of Connecticut and Holy Cross — all of which have switched their campus dining facilities to blended burgers.
Highlights from February
- Meijer’s dietitian developed an original blend recipe, Garden Mushroom Meatloaf, and featured it on their website as a healthier comfort food makeover. They also featured the Council’s Blended Turkey with Avocado Mushroom burger on their weekly meal plan to coincide with mushrooms being on sale. You can use the meatloaf as an example when talking to retailers about how they can promote and sell The Blend.
- Heinen’s Fine Foods is a specialty regional supermarket chain in Northeast Ohio and Chicago metropolitan area. They began testing Blend recipes including the Mediterranean Blended Burger for their prepared meat and foodservice departments.
- The Council met with three dietitians of Coborn’s Grocery to discuss promotional opportunities, which included incorporation of Blend ideas into signage and products for purchase. There is also discussion of adding a Blend Burger into their next line of meal kits for CobornsDelivers.
- Buona Foods, Inc. promoted The Blend during The Big Game weekend with a three-day demo. The Council supported their program by supplying recipe cards for Turkey Tacos, Turkey Mushroom Sliders and Beef and Mushroom Chili. Over the course of three days, approximately 450 Blended samples were given to customers. Some customers purchased all the ingredients demonstrated during the event to make the blended dish at home.
- The 2017 Blend Toolkit is now live. You can now view the page or access it via The Blend menu or The Blend Resources page. The 2017 Blend Marketing Toolkit is intended for industry use and features Blend marketing materials such as suggested year-long social media themes, case studies and sample retail and foodservice presentations.
- The Blend the Rules Campaign was featured in the USDA FNS newsletter.
- Jennie-O started an advertising campaign for their Mushroom & Turkey Blended Burger in School Nutrition Magazine. View the ad on page 7 of the January Issue.
- The Blended Burger Project™ Special Edition, exclusively for Colleges and Universities, was announced on February 27, 2017 at the Menu Directions Conference. We weren’t surprised to learn that even more colleges, universities and foodservice establishments are already switching to The Blend. The 3rd annual Blended Burger Project™ is accepting registration and stay tuned for more information on the Special Edition promotion to promote to your college/university customer segment.
- The Mushroom Council is working with two major healthcare groups to test The Blend in hospitals, which is a significant market for mushroom sales.
- The Council is attending Oldways Supermarket Dietitian Symposium, March 19-22 in Scottsdale, AZ. We will be sampling The Blend and fresh mushrooms, handing out retail RD Toolkits, co-presenting with Big Y’s retail dietitian and meeting 1:1 with retail dietitians to encourage pilot programs at retail. Additionally, the Council will be sharing information with the dietitians about the mushroom/veal summer grilling promotion and the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project™ and events.
- South East Produce Council (SEPC), March 9-11 (Orlando, Florida) – The Mushroom Council will be attending this tradeshow to meet with produce retailers to promote The Blend. A request to exhibit at this show in 2018 is being processed.
- The Mushroom Council will be attending the Northern California Fresh Produce & Floral Expo (FPFC) March 29th to promote The Blend. To see the schedule of events during the show, click here.
The Council will be speaking at the Georgia School Nutrition Association Conference, April 20 – 22, 2017. View the conference agenda here.
We’re dishing up blended meatballs and recruiting attendees to pledge to be Blenditarians at the Good Food Festival in Chicago on March 17-18.
Tracker Highlights from 12/25/2016*
Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy:
- In the 4‐weeks – Organic mushrooms turned in a strong performance, driving 80% of total category growth
- In the 52‐weeks – 2016 category dollars rose +4.3%, on modest price (+1.6%) and volume gains (+2.7%)
*IRI/FreshLook Data provided by Fusion Marketing