Monthly Shipping and Marketing Report | May 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 Tuesday, June 20, 2017 in Quebec, Canada. If you would like to attend, please let us know so we can make sure you are accommodated.
- On Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Quebec, there will be a moderated discussion for industry members. If you are planning on being in Quebec early, please consider attending and being a part of the conversation. More details to follow.
- The call for nominations for three positions on the Council for the 2018-2020 term are now closed. Ballots will be mailed on June 1 and due by June 30.
- Regions 1 (All states except CA & PA), 2 (PA) & 4 (Importers) will be on the ballot.
To see current charts, click here.
The Month Ahead
- In time for National Burger Month, the Council will be hosting a contest that encourages consumers to Discover Your “Perfect” Blended Burger. Consumers who take the quiz and pledge to be a blenditarian will be entered to win a Shark Ninja Food Processor + $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 these Graphics from the kit to create your own posts!)
- To preview the JBF Blended Burger Project™ we will be hosting lunches in Boston (May 15), Louisville (May 16), Sacramento (May 22) and Kansas City (May 23) and encouraging chefs to join. If you have foodservice contacts in those areas who would be interested in attending, please contact Holly Sturdivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Mushroom Council will host a webinar on Friday, May 12 at 1pm EST/Noon CST/11 MST/10PST to provide the industry with details on the 3rd annual Blended Burger Project™.Everyone in the industry is invited to attend and learn about the tools available and how you can play an active role in encouraging your favorite restaurants, chefs or chains to participate. The more restaurants that get involved, the more opportunity there is to sell fresh mushrooms and build momentum for The Blend. Click here to register for the webinar.
- The May Culinary Fight Club theme is Blended Burgers. The month participating chefs will be judged on their version of The Blend. The 8 events are open to the public, and we encourage you to attend. See the complete list of markets at culinaryfightclub.com/competitions. If you attend, you are welcome to talk to the audience about mushrooms and maybe serve as a judge. Please contact Steve Solomon (Steve_solomon@msn.com) if you would like to attend/participate.
- The Council is participating in the Bristol Farms Passport to Savings Program, which is running through May 30, 2017. An ad featuring Turkey Mushroom Blend Sliders (view here) will be distributed in 300,000 program booklets. The Blend will be featured in all stores with an in-store demo sampling. Council members, agencies, staff and industry members are encouraged to visit a Bristol Farms near them during an in-store sampling event.
- Kroger stores in the Dallas/Houston & Atlanta area will be sampling Mushroom and Turkey Tacos, which will be paired with wine during three-hour in-store demos at 30 events. Click here to see the recipe card that will be distributed during the demos. Shippers that sell mushrooms in the Dallas/Houston & Atlanta area are encouraged to visit Kroger stores and talk to the chain’s senior management about launching The Blend in their meat, deli and produce departments.
- Alfalfa stores (Boulder and Louisville, CO) will promote The Blend, with recipes and in-store food demos, sampling the Mushroom and Turkey Tacos bend recipe. The demonstrations coincide with a larger store event and many customers are expected to attend. Shippers that sell mushrooms to Alfalfa stores, in Boulder and Louisville, should meet with management to promote The Blend in their meat, deli and produce departments.
- Retail RDNs are gearing up for featuring The Blend in media outlets this month:
- On May 27th, a retail dietitian from Giant Food will be featuring The Blend in an local TV spot (Timonium, MD) on “Upgrading Your Grilling Game”.
- A dietitian from Martin’s plans to mention The Blend in a local editorial with The South Bend Tribune on plant-forward eating. We will share these features with you in the next report
- We’re serving blended burgers and recruiting attendees to pledge to be blenditarians at the Twin Cities Burger Battle (May 20), Harriet Island, St. Paul, MN. All Inclusive tickets are $60, and sell out fast, purchase yours here.
- The Council will exhibit at the School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference July 9-12th in Atlanta, Georgia. Take advantage of the increased awareness and conversation around mushrooms and amplify the Mushrooms In Schools Marketing Messages .
- On May 3, 2017, the Council will be attending the Fresh Produce and Floral Council’s Southern California Membership Luncheon at the Sheraton Cerritos, CA. Council members are encouraged to attend the luncheon by clicking here to register. This is a great opportunity for Council members and industry members to network and listen to guest speaker Rick Cruz, Pavilions Sales Manager.
- As a sponsor, the Council will attend the Appetites and Innovations Conference at the CIA in Napa, CA May 31 – June 2, 2017. To tie into our Mushroom/Veal promotion, the Council will be serving Blended Veal Mushroom Sliders during the cocktail party. The conference is a collaborative discussion with industry members to develop solutions regarding changing consumer demand, nutrition, impacts on the retail industry overall, and industry challenges and best practices. The Council’s board members, staff and agencies are invited to follow this link to explore past presentations to get a deeper understanding of the goals and accomplishments of this conference and corporate members.
- The Council will be exhibiting at the Today’s Dietitian Symposium May 21st – 24th, New Orleans, LA, sampling Blend recipes and encouraging RDs to take the Blenditarian pledge. Todays Dietitian Symposium draws in 600 dietitians from all different specialties, including retail.
Highlights from April
- We served 5,000 blended burger sliders to attendees at the Austin Food & Wine Festival (April 29 – 30), and recruited fans to pledge to be Blenditarians.
- We hosted a Blended Burger Project™ media kick-off event in New York City at the James Beard House for national food and sustainability media. View the blog post here.
- To support The Blend on campus, the Council held student promotions at the University of Colorado and the University of Montana who have recently converted all of their burger items to The Blend primarily because of sustainability. Now is the perfect time to call on your distributors (speciifically higher education specialist) and provide resources on mushroom sustainability and The Blend. There are resources available in The Blend Marketing Toolkit, as well as on the Mushroom Sustainability page.
- The Blend the Rules school recipe and marketing campaign has concluded with 32 entries. The winning recipes/concepts and been selected, and will be announced on social media, as well is a press release and on the Mushrooms in Schools Blog. Continue to share our Mushrooms in Schools recipes (tested by students) on your social channels to demonstrate how children are enjoying mushrooms in their school programs all over the country.
- The Council sponsored the Retail RDBA Blenditarian Recipe Contest, with a winning prize of a $1,000 stipend for an education conference of their choice. To enter, retail dietitians created an original Blend recipe, with the winning recipe being featured at the RDBA networking event at FNCE 2017, in Chicago. We will announce the winner later this month and issue a press release for you to share with your retail partners to encourage them to create their own Blend recipes. For now, you can direct them here to learn more about the official rules and guidelines of the contest.
- Martin’s Supermarket featured mushrooms for their “Dietitian pick of the week” in their 4/17 ad circular (circ: 261,000), highlighting mushrooms and lean 90% ground sirloin on sale and included The Council’s salisbury steak recipe to promote the sale. Check to see if your retail partner has a dietitian pick in their ad circular and how you can get mushrooms or The Blend to be featured.
- Fairway Markets started selling Blended Burgers in the meat department. This is an upscale market on the East Coast with 100 stores, we should see more Blenditarian pledges from this area.
- Shippers selling mushrooms to the retail chains listed below are encouraged to recommend The Blend in their stores. For more detailed information about the retail meetings below, call Steven Muro, Fusion Marketing at (818) 718-8084 X205 to see how you can help launch The Blend at retail.
- The Council met with The Fresh Market and introduced The Blend and discussed promotional opportunities.
- Schnucks is a supermarket chain established in the St. Louis area. It operates 97 stores in five states throughout the Midwest. The Council met with staff and discussed launching The Blend in their stores.
- Dierbergs is a high-end supermarket chain based in Chesterfield, Missouri, The Council met and discussed The Blend and promotional opportunities available for a successful launch.
- Dietitians from Fareway promoted The Blend during three local TV spots (April 22 on WHO channel 13 (Des Moines NBC) and KCRG channel 9 (Cedar Rapids ABC) and April 18 on KTIV channel 4 (Sioux City NBC) highlighting three different blended recipe ideas (tacos, chili and burgers). Ask your retail partner if they participate in sponsored broadcast segments with their local TV stations and be sure they have our summertime grilling pitch handout to encourage them to feature The Blend.
- Reasor’s dietitians are featuring The Blend recipe pamphlets on their “healthy living advice from the experts” display. Find out if your retail partners have dietitian displays to highlight Blend information on.
- Meijer dietitian sampled the Blend chili twice this month during her presentations to shoppers on “plant-centered eating”. Find out what nutrition classes/presentations your retail partners are holding for shoppers and encourage them to sample a Blend recipe during it.
Tracker Highlights from 02/19/2017*
- In the 4-weeks – Dollar growth slowed by declining prices
In the 52-weeks – Organic mushrooms drive half of category dollar gains
Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy: Click here for the full report.
* IRI/FreshLook Data provided by Fusion Marketing