Shipping Reports

Monthly Shipping Report | April 2013

April 24, 2013


Regional Roundtables to be held in May:

The Mushroom Council continues to build on its successful nutrition research and promotion effort. Expanding into colleges and universities and now into the school lunch program appears to be adding a new dimension to the Council’s outreach efforts that looks promising. Come hear about recent accomplishments and programs relative to the Council’s consumer, foodservice and retail category management efforts and offer your feedback to your Council representatives.

This year’s guest speaker:  Greg Drescher, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Industry Leadership, Culinary Institute of America (CIA). The CIA is one of the larger recipients of Mushroom Council investment funds. Why is this single organization such an important strategic partner of the Mushroom Council? What vital role did they play in helping the Council launch the Blend Trend? What other innovative ideas and strategic counsel might the mushroom industry expect from this top-chef-think-tank in the future? Greg will explain the above and answer any questions you might have for him.

This presentation is to be followed by a brief program review by Mushroom Council President Bart Minor and Marketing Coordinator Katie Preis. We will conclude with a direct dialogue between you, the investors in this industry-wide effort, and your representatives, who ultimately guide the form that investment takes.

The value of the Council to the industry is strengthened by industry input and support; please attend and offer your point of view.

The following is a schedule of meetings. Please RSVP to [email protected] or (408)432-7210 so we can plan resources accordingly.

*Please note: the link is for registering for the webinar only; it does not provide access to the webinar. After registering you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing a link to join the Webinar.


2013 Council Representatives:

Region 1: Region 3:
Pat Jurgensmeyer, J-M Farms; Treasurer Joe Caldwell, Monterey Mushrooms
Fletcher Street, Ostrom Mushroom Farms; Chair Roberto Ramirez, Mountain Meadow Mushrooms

Region 2:
Region 4:
Jim Angelucci, Phillips Mushroom Farms Liz O’Neil, Highline Mushrooms; Secretary
Dave Carroll, Giorgi Mushroom Company
Tony D’Amico, To-Jo Mushrooms; Vice Chair
Gale Ferranto, Buona Foods


  • A call for nominations for 3-year terms beginning January 1, 2014 has been mailed. The regions with a position opening up are Region 1 (one position); Region 2 (one position) and Region 3 (one position).Completed forms are due no later than May 1. Please consider being a part of the Council.
  • USDA and the Mushroom Council encourage all eligible producers, including women, minorities and individuals with disabilities to participate in the nominations and seek nomination to serve on the Council.
  • Once the nominees have been verified, ballots will be mailed on or about June 1, 2013 to those eligible to vote. If you do not receive a ballot and believe you should have, please contact Cheryl at the Council office.
  • The next Council meeting is being held on Saturday, June 22, 2013 in conjunction with the NAMC in Vancouver. If you would like to attend this meeting please contact Cheryl so we can make sure you are accommodated.



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To see current charts through January 2013 click here.



Industry Tools

  • The spring News About Mushrooms nutrition e-newsletter was distributed on 3/20 to approximately 6,500 health influencers and received an open and click thru rate of 23.7 percent and 19.3 percent respectively (compared to  21.8 and 16.8 percent for the winter newsletter). This edition of the newsletter focused on Council partnerships to get more veggies on the plate including the commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America and grant programs with Academy subgroups. Share the newsletter with your customers so they can learn more about mushrooms’ place in the school nutrition landscape.

Mushroom Council Marketing Summary – March 2013

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  • In March, the Council leveraged this year’s National Nutrition Month (NNM) theme, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,” to demonstrate how consumers and health professionals can utilize mushrooms’ versatility to bring vegetables and nutrients to more meals every day, every way.  Highlights from the March campaign include:
    • E-blast round-up of Council recipes for every day of the week was distributed to over 6,000 food/features editors; garnered placements in the Antelope Valley Press, Bismarck Tribune and Newnan Times-Herald.
    • 60-second audio news release celebrating mushrooms’ superfood status and highlighting the mushroom-meat blend cooking technique aired on more than 750 radio stations nationwide and reached an audience of more than 43 million listeners. To listen to the sound bite, click here.
    • Celebrated National Registered Dietitian Day on 3/13 by tweeting personalized e-cards to 40 nutrition experts and sending mushroom growing kits to 30 targeted influencers, earning the Council tremendous goodwill among these audiences.
    • Produce prescription themed visuals were shared on Facebook where the Council “prescribed mushrooms for a variety of meals and snacks, while highlighting their nutrition benefits. Posts reflecting these efforts resulted in a combined 2,206 likes, 572 shares and 63 comments.
    • Featured recipe tab on Facebook, and the monthly consumer newsletter followed the “Produce Prescription” theme and promoted seven recipes to showcase different mushroom applications across meals for every day of the week.
    • #MushroomDish Twitter party on 3/20 had 420 participants and generated nearly 5,000 tweets; of which 882 referenced the Mushroom Channel’s Twitter handle directly. The #MushroomDish hashtag became a worldwide trending topic surrounding the Council’s key messages including versatility and blendability.
    • More than 40 family and food bloggers, like The Vintage Mom andA Year With Mom & Dad, wrote about mushroom versatility as related to the NNM theme. Tour participants had a combined total of 1,432,003 average monthly page views, 274,338 Twitter followers and 208,237 Facebook fans.
    • Dedicated Pinterest board titled “Every Day: Every Way” highlighted mushroom recipes and dishes. The 41 featured pins received 167 repins and 37 likes with 26 pins directing back to resulting in a click through rate of 62 visits to
    • Showcased NNM on the Mushroom Channel blog throughout the month, two of which were among the top-viewed blog posts for March:
  • Search Engine Marketing increased traffic to by 146 percent and daily page views by 253 percent since launching in May 2011.
    • Search Engine Marketing drove nearly 17,500 visits to during March 2013 and was the largest source driving return visitors to the site, with 4,615 visits from this audience.
  • Top performing keywords were consistent from February and included “mushroom recipe,” “stuffed mushrooms” and “vitamin D foods.”
  • Three of the Mushroom Channel’s blog contributors (, and were amongst the top 10 sources driving visitors to the blog, with a combined 2,728 visits.
  • Monthly fan growth on Facebook increased by 140 percent from February, generating more than 8.6 million impressions. The platform drove more than 5,000 total visits to and drove 2,131 visits from return visitors in March.


  • Monthly fan growth on increased 175 percent since February, resulting in more than 13.7 impressions.
    • This is attributed to the Mushroom Channel’s sponsored #MushroomDish Twitter chat hosted by Resourceful Mom on March 20th, which reached 420 unique participants and sparked 772 mentions of the Mushroom Channel’s Twitter handle.
  • Pinterest followers increased by 13 percent since February. The platform also drove 35 percent of all visits to directed from social media sites with more than 3,500 visits.
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On the Horizon

  • From April 20-24, eight mushroom research abstracts will be presented at Experimental Biology (Boston, MA) linking mushrooms to positive health outcomes in the areas of weight management, vitamin D immunity and overall diet quality.
  • The Council fielded the annual Today’s Dietitian survey on April 9th to gather and benchmark registered dietitians’ attitudes towards mushrooms. Results will be included in the May shipment report.
  • The Council will conduct traditional and social media outreach for summer grilling highlighting Blendability leading into the promotion of the Swap It or Top It summer recipe contest.
  • The Eat, Write, Retreat social media conference will take place in late May (Philadelphia, PA) where the Council will engage prominent food bloggers through a mushroom-centric session and introduce the Swap It or Top It contest.



Industry Tools

The Council completed several new tools to showcase the newest mushroom concept Blendability that shows operators how to provide guests with iconic foods like burgers, meatballs and tacos, while reducing calories and fat, and potentially reducing food costs and meeting changing consumer needs.  On www. there will be an updated sell sheet, as well as a new PowerPoint presentation that focuses not only on Blendability, but also on the overall nutrition power of mushrooms.

Marketing Summary

April-FSSeveral chains launched new mushroom items this period. Mushrooms are hot at breakfast.  Denny’s is currently featuring a promotion,  Pepper Bacon Omelette with diced pepper bacon, fresh avocados, fire-roasted peppers and onions, mushrooms, american cheese and pico de gallo.  Added to Denny’s regular menu, is a Philly Steak Omelette with grilled prime rib, fire-roasted peppers and onions, sautéed mushrooms and swiss cheese.  Not to be

outdone, Perkins introduced a new Spinach and Baby Bella Scramble on its Fit Favorite menu.  The item has slow roasted tomatoes, grilled onions, fresh spinach and, of course, baby portabella mushrooms

Noodles and Company is using mushrooms to promote the healthy side of their menu.  With their new “Worlds of Spring” LTO, they are featuring three new vegetable-centric items, two of which have mushrooms.  The Springtime Flatbread is a crispy flatbread appetizer with mushrooms, fresh asparagus, Parmesan and bacon while the Garden Pesto Sauté features asparagus, mushrooms, red bell peppers, onions, spinach, pecans, pecorino and feta over gluten free fusilli noodles and topped with Genovese pesto.

Texas-AM-DemoThe Council was at Texas A&M, one of the largest colleges in the country to educate students on mushrooms.  The event, which was held in conjunction with a student recipe contest, featured a sauté station where students sampled mushroom with teriyaki, pesto and BBQ Vinaigrette.  The chefs received a firsthand look at Blendability and will be working on new items featuring the technique.

On The Horizon

Work with restaurant chains and colleges will continue, and a number of CIA event are up-coming where The Council will be able to introduce more chains to the concept of Blendability.  The FLIK recipe contest judging will be held at the end of April, where chefs from private high schools in Maine, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York contributed recipes that were voted on by students from their schools.



  • A document outlining the school market opportunity for mushrooms and steps shippers can take to sell to schools was presented during the March 5th Swapability Webinar. The relevant ‘How To’ sheets can be found here on the school nutrition section of
  • A complete ‘Selling to Schools’ sales kit was shared with the industry in a ‘blendability- webinar’ flash drive. Please request a flash drive from Cheryl if you did not receive.
  • Council representatives worked with a meat processor to develop a school foodservice mushroom and beef blended burger product formula. The formula was reviewed by the USDA and received a Child Nutrition Label which includes a 1/4 cup vegetable credit when served with 1/8 cup additional vegetable.
  • Council has requested a pilot program from the USDA. The pilot program will test a mushroom beef burger in select state school districts. They will test for acceptability among students and kitchen staff. The burger spec is currently being finalized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Mushroom Council representatives are currently working with several school districts throughout the country to develop mushroom swapability pilot programs. Pilot programs in St Louis, Kansas City and South Bend are beginning in April 2013.
  • Council representatives attended the American Commodity Distribution Association’s Annual Conference to further educate stakeholders on the benefits mushrooms bring to the National School Lunch Program.
  • Council School Nutrition resources can be found here.



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The Topline report week ending 02/24/13 was sent to the industry on 04/02/2013; click here to access the report online.

Important Changes:

This new data reflects sales and volume from major produce retailers such as Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target and BJ’s. This new data is being united with thetraditional grocery data we have utilized in previous reports.  This new combined data is called MULO, which stands for Multi-Outlet stores.  In addition to new retailers reflected in the report, we also now have an expanded list of markets.

What does this mean to you?

More retail data and more markets means you now see a more comprehensive view of the produce market and that the sales numbers reflected in many markets will appear larger or different than in the previous reports.  You may even witness a new direction in some retail trends with the expansion of this data set. Because of these changes, you cannot easily compare these new reports to reports of the past.

Total Mushrooms – 4 Weeks

  • The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +3.5%  lags Total Produce’s growth trend (+9.9%) by -6.4 points
  • On a Regional basis, Plains (+10.4%) and Great Lakes (+7.8%) posted the strongest percentage dollar increases. Two Regions posted declines: Northeast at -3.0% and Midsouth at -2.1%
  • On a Market basis, New Orleans/Mobile delivered the top dollar sales trend at +22.6% (a large gain on a smaller base), while Hartford/Springfield and Harrisburg/Scranton both experienced double-digit declines at -18.3% and -15.2%
  • Volume in pounds for the Total U.S. increased by +3.0%. On a Regional basis, six of the eight Regions grew this period with Plains posting the strongest percentage volume increase at +10.9%.  Declining Regions were Northeast (-4.8%) and Midsouth (-1.4%)
  • In the Markets, New Orleans/Mobile and Milwaukee  had the greatest volume percentage gains at +27.6% and +24.9%


Segment/Variety – 4 Weeks

  • Total U.S. dollar sales of the White segment experienced an overall  decline in the U.S. of -3.4% while Brown mushrooms  grew by +16.7% overall. Creminis increased by +11.3% and Portabellas by +34.9%
  • Total U.S. volume in pounds for the White segment declined -4.1% while the Brown segment saw an increase of +20.8%, led by Portabella mushrooms at +34.5% and Creminis at 17.3%
  • On a Regional basis, the dollar sales trend for the White segment was mixed. California delivered the top dollar sales trend (+5.5%), while Northeast region fell -13.8%
  • The Brown segment saw impressive dollar sales increases across all Regions led by Southeast which turned in a +38.8% increase on a large base
  • Six Markets turned in double-digit declines for the White segment with the largest decline in Hartford/Springfield at -32.4%. Conversely, 42 of 48 Markets turned in strong gains in the Brown segment, with 19 Markets growing dollar sales over +30%
  • On a volume in pounds basis, most Regions and Markets turned in losses this period for Whites. In contrast, volume of Browns grew solidly, with Southeast leading the Regions at +55.6%


Total Mushrooms – 52 Weeks

  • The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +2.8% lags the Total Produce growth trend (+4.5%) by -1.7 points
  • On a Regional basis, all Regions except California (-0.7%) experienced growth over the current 52-week period.  The Northeast holds the largest dollar share (21.2%) while Southeast leads the Regions with the top dollar sales trend of +5.0%
  • Total U.S. volume grew +2.4%
  • All Regions  witnessed volume growth, while West had the greatest percentage increase at +6.2%
  • In the Market rankings of dollars, many markets experienced growth, led by Cleveland (+14.9%) and Columbus (12.1%)
  • Market rankings by volume were led by Salt Lake City (+9.5%), Minneapolis (+9.3%) and Jacksonville (+9.1%) with the greatest decline occurred in New York (-5.7%)
  • Segment/Variety – 52 Weeks
  • Total U.S. dollar sales for the White segment declined -1.5%, with all Regions declining except the Southeast (+0.3%).  However, Total U.S. sales for the Brown segment grew +12.5%, with all Regions posting increases, led by Plains at +20.3%
  • Total U.S volume in pounds of White mushrooms also experienced an overall decline (-1.8%), with only two Regions experiencing an increase: California (+2.6%) and Plains (+1.3%). Total U.S. volume in pounds of Brown mushrooms experienced growth of +14.4%, led by the West which grew volume +33.7%
  • In the Brown segment, Cremini mushrooms hold the largest share, accounting for 74.1% of dollar sales and 76.8% of volume in pounds.  Portabella mushrooms account for 25.8% of dollar sales and 23.2% of volume in pounds.
  • While many Markets declined in the sales and volume of White mushrooms, in the Brown segment nearly every Market  grew dollar sales and volume
    • Sales trend of Brown mushrooms in major Markets: New York +12.6%, Los Angeles +5.6%, Baltimore/Washington +4.9%
      • Only San Francisco experienced a decline (-2.6%)
    • Volume of Brown mushrooms grew in all but two markets: Grand Rapids (-7.1%) and San Francisco (-9.0%)
      • Strong volume increases in the Brown segment occurred in these Markets: Phoenix/Tucson +58.5%,  Denver +41.6%, New Orleans/Mobile +42.5%


Marketing Summary

Communications surrounding the Council’s Partnership for Healthier America summit were distributed to appear in March issues.

Mushroom Council Joins Anti-Obesity EffortsThe Packer, 3/08/2013

Mushroom Council Announced Multi Million Dollar Commitment to PHAThe Perishable New, 3/12/2013

USDA seeks nominees for Mushroom Council – The Perishable News, 3/22/2013

USDA seeks Mushroom Council Nominees – The Packer, 3/22/2013

USDA seeking nominations for Mushroom Council – AndKnowUKnow Produce, 3/21/2013

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