Monthly Shipping Report | April 2015
- The next Council meeting is May 13-14 in Nashville, TN. If you plan on attending, please email Cheryl@mushroomcouncil.org so we can make sure you are accommodated.
- Nominations: A call for nominations for 3-year terms beginning January 1, 2016 was mailed on February 2, 2015. Regions with a position opening up are Region 2; PA (two positions) and Region 3 (one position). 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.
To see current charts click here.
- Mushrooms, Women’s Health, March 2015
- The 50 Healthiest Foods of All Time (With Recipes), TIME, 3/2
- Vegetables’ nutritional value often rises when they are cooked properly, Washington Post, 3/2
- “Healthy Heart Cooking,” Live with Kelly and Michael, 3/4
- Cutting Out the Meat With Mushrooms, New York Times, 3/6
- Give Your Body a Boost with These Nutrient-Rich Foods, Parade, 3/6
- 7 Underrated Foods for Weight Loss, Daily Meal, 3/10
- ‘Test Kitchen’: How To Make Vegetarian Dishes Pop With A Little Umami, NPR the Salt, 3/10
- UV Processing of Mushrooms Enhances Vitamin D Content, Food Processing, 3/11
- MEATLESS MONDAY MADE EASIER WITH MUSHROOMS, Delish, 3/14
- Mushrooms in Your Burger? Try This to Cut Calories, Fat Without Sacrificing Flavor, Supermarket Guru, 3/16
- To-Jo capitalizing on trend to blend, Produce News, 3/16
- 11 Food Sources of Vitamin D, About.com, 3/19
- You Think You Know Umami, The New Yorker, 3/19
- 4 Easy Veggies to Blend Into Any Recipe, Produce for Kids, 3/23
- Spring Foods to Help You Shed Your Winter Weight, EatingWell, 3/23
- “Boost or Bust,” TODAY Show, 3/27
- Should you buy lean or regular ground meat?, Washington Post, 3/27
- Veggies to cook, not crunch, Atlanta Journal Constitution, 3/29
- Time Magazine featured mushrooms as number 13 on their list of 50 healthiest foods. Mushroom nutritionals, specifically vitamin D were highlighted as one of their many benefits.
- This month, the Council brought another new, food influencer into the mushroom fold— a New York Times food editor who has recently written positively about mushrooms as a star ingredient and provided mushroom-inspired recipes.
- The Council submitted comments on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack.
- Washington Post highlighted the blend technique in an article discussing the differences in lean vs. regular beef, with Ellie Krieger saying the blend is one of her favorite cooking techniques, adding that chopped mushrooms provide more nutrition to meaty dishes. A total of three, separate placements ran in the Washington Post during March, all discussing the umami and flavor benefits of mushrooms.
- High profile broadcast journalists and health professionals referenced mushrooms as an integral food to add to your diet on two morning shows, including Live with Kelly and Michael and the TODAY Show.
- Katie Cavuto developed a mushroom blend philly cheesesteak recipe for an opportunity with Everyday with Rachael Ray.
- The Mushroom Channel engaged with three foodservice partners including Copeland’s of New Orleans, Panera and the Culinary Institute of America.
- Seasonal dialogue surrounded vitamin D and the Council leveraged momentum with ‘surprise and delight’ efforts to find registered dietitians/ influencers who were shaping the online conversation about vitamin D. Mushroom/D care packages were sent to these individuals with product and information to boost their intake of the “sunshine vitamin” and call-out mushrooms’ benefits.
- To celebrate National RD Day (3/11), the Council created a graphic with mushrooms that was shared across the Mushroom Channel online communities, earning numerous interactions with our growing RD community. This became the Channel’s best-performing tweet of 2015, so far.
- The Council’s work to promote the blend culinary technique has been selected as a finalist in the 2015 Silver Anvil awards for consumer food marketing. This is among the most prestigious awards in the communications industry and recognizes organizations that have successfully addressed a contemporary public relations issue with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness.
- Two promoted Facebook posts focused on promoting our blogger’s new, fresh mushroom dishes and National RD Day graphic.
- Combined, promoted posts reached 29K+ people and resulted in 2.5k+ engagements and $0.15 per action
- Mushroom Channel published two blogger recipes with 1.1K+ page views and accounted for two percent of all website referral traffic in March.
- Search ad words accounted for 7.57 percent of total visits in March. Top performing paid keywords included: mushroom recipes, stuffed mushrooms and vitamin D foods.
On the Horizon
- On May 17, Plate Magazine will hold a VIP event in Chicago with mushroom blend burgers being served. Following the event, the Council and Chef Jehangir Mehta will showcase the blend in a chef demonstration at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show on May 18.
For more detailed social analytics download the NEW Social Analytics Report here.
Planning to promote the Blend through James Beard Foundation, the preeminent chef’s organization in the country is ramping up. Chef recruitment, publicity plans and social media support are all in various stages of development, kick-off and activation. The Council just completed a webinar that showcased the significant support that will be behind the promotion of the Blend. James Beard along with the Council and the rest of the mushroom industry will be asking chefs around the country to menu The Blend, promote it to their guests and ask guests to post a photo to Instagram. The 5 winners, based on the number of Instagram posts, will be flown by James Beard to cook at the James Beard House in New York. The promotion will launch to chefs in late April and starts on Memorial Day running through July. The entire mushroom industry is being invited to recruit their favorite restaurants to participate, and as soon as final materials are approved, they will be made available.
Penn State University: Mushroom Mania made a stop at PSU to promote The Blend and mushrooms in general. Each of the 6 dining halls featured mushroom dished all day long. The Council had previously trained their student nutrition department who helped staff the lines by the mushroom feature. There were also mushroom displays and staff available to answer any questions about mushrooms. Students won T-Shirts for calling out the right answers in Mushroom Jeopardy.
The Blend—Speaking Engagements: The Mushroom Council was invited to speak on the trend-setting Blend at four different venues. The month started with a presentation at Menu Directions to colleges and other non-commercial audiences. While the Council spoke about The Blend, the executive chef of Ohio State University demonstrated their version of The Blend and presented a case history showcasing how their Blend burger was tested among hundreds of students and is now available in beef or turkey.
The Council also was invited to host a panel on mushrooms and sports performance at NACUFS Pacific Region (for West Coast colleges and universities) and speak at Midwest NACUFS (for Midwestern colleges and universities). While we presented and demonstrated how to make the Blend for a number of colleges like the University of Iowa, Notre Dame University, Michigan State University and Purdue University among others, our friends from Ohio State University were presenting concurrently and included information about the Blend. After the presentations, hundreds of universities had an opportunity to sample blended meatballs.
Finally, the dietitians for major restaurant chains heard about the Blend in a presentation on healthy menus at the NRA’s national dietitian study group meeting. Several in attendance are already menuing the Blend, while everyone not only heard about the benefits, but sampled beef-mushroom burgers, turkey-mushroom burgers and veal-mushroom burgers at a Blend reception.
There are several more speaking and cooking demos scheduled throughout the year including a webinar for NACUFS dietitians, two interest sessions at the national NACUFS conference and a demo by Chef Jehangir Mehta on the Blend at the National Restaurant Association in May as part of their celebrity chef Global Showcase. Retail: We have already mentioned that one of the chefs for the Council has been so impressed with the Blend that he developed a Portabella-Bacon sausage for his line of bacon sausages. The Portabella-Bacon sausage is now selling at Central Market (Texas) and is being rolled out at Costco, starting in the Midwest. Look for it if you are in one of these areas. Chain Restaurant Introductions: Two major chains launched or announced new mushroom dishes on their menu. McDonald’s will soon be selling a line of premium burgers and will include a Steakhouse burger with mushrooms. Panera has successfully launched its Broth Bowls with several flavors featuring mushrooms. Several in the line are Soba Noodles with chicken, spinach, napa cabbage, roasted mushroom and onions, cilantro, sesame seeds in their umami soy-miso broth as well as another which replaces chicken with Edamame and features the same mushrooms. The bowls have 390 and 370 calories, respectively.
SCHOOL NUTRITION SUMMARY
- IQF Mushrooms for direct delivery were added to the USDA Foods Available Catalogue. They are listed in the catalogue as the following: “110421- Mushrooms. They can be used for either direct delivery or processing.”
- An IQF mushroom information fact sheet has been developed and will be shared in the May school nutrition newsletter. The IQF availability will be featured in media promotions in Fall 2015.
- The mushroom farm to school program is currently being developed for a launch at the School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference in July. Schools will be able to use the kit to develop a Harvest of the Month program.
- Council reps are working on a spring mushroom blend promotion in the Cypress-Fairbanks (Houston) district and Montgomery County, MD. Cypress-Fairbanks will feature farm to school mushrooms and Montgomery County will feature IQF mushroom in their central kitchen.
- Mushroom Council representatives and Sodexo have met to coordinate introducing Sesame Street characters in their school nutrition program. The use of the Sesame Street characters will support the launch of blend products within the districts.
- Mushroom Council will be sponsoring the Culinary Institute’s Healthy Flavors Healthy Kids conference in San Antonio in early May. Approximately 75 of the most influential district directors will attend the conference. Attendees will sample and prepare mushroom blended products.
- All recipes on mushroomsinschools.com are currently being updated to meet changing meal pattern requirements. You can view the updated recipes and resources here.
- The Q1 issue of “Nutrition News About Mushrooms” e-newsletter was delivered to over 8,000 nutrition influencers. Retail RD Toolkit was finalized and distributed at Oldways Supermarket Dietitian Symposium. Currently working on updating the Vitamin D fact sheet and creating a streamlined nutrition PPT presentation.
Retail (Supermarket RD)
- Oldways Supermarket Dietitian Symposium in St. Petersburgh, FL was a huge success. We introduced The Blend to over 50 supermarket RDs and nutrition influencers with a dedicated presentation and a Blended burger lunch. The buzz about mushrooms and The Blend was high and influencers were enthusiastic about exploring ways we could partner and help get The Blend into their retailers. We distributed Retail RD Toolkits on USB drives and Blended recipe books for RDs to take back with them to their retailers. Currently following-up with prospective leads and distributed a follow-up e-blast to all attendees.
The Council is targeting small to mid-sized regional retailers (on both coasts) for the introduction of The Blend pilot programs in grocery chain’s deli, foodservice and meat departments. The Council is in active discussions with the following retailers: Harmon’s – Salt Lake City, Wakefern/ShopRite, Redner’s Warehouse Markets and others to have The Blend promoted in the deli, meat and/or foodservice departments. The new retail-focused website (MushroomsAtRetail.com) is now live. Click on the link to view. The site will serve as a sales tool to introduce retailers to the features, benefits and opportunities of mushrooms and The Blend. The site will also provide information of the resource and support provided by the Council. This site is also an excellent tool for your sales people to use to learn more about The Blend, the Council’s retail activities and support that is available to retailers that launch a pilot Blend program in their stores.
The Council is also building awareness of The Blend with the trade through other communication means. The presentation for the United Ag Annual Conference was held in March. There were approximately 100 influential agribusiness leaders in attendance. The Blend presentation generated a lot of interest as an important trend for foodservice, schools and retail.
The Oldways Symposium was a great success and interest was generated from the show exposure as an excellent gateway to many retailers. Leads for The Blend at retail include: Giant Eagle, Marsh Supermarkets, Dierbergs and Hannaford, and others. The Council is reaching out to these and other retailers to launch The Blend.
The Council’s retail co-marketing efforts are off to a great start. With just 90 days into the new retail program, we have excellent results to share.
The Council has secured its first co-marketing partner with Gourmet Garden. Featured Blend recipes will be hosted on the Gourmet Garden site with a link to the Mushroom Council’s consumer site. The recipes will be placed on a special section titled “Mushroom Council and Gourmet Garden Recipe Collection.” Gourmet Garden’s website generates more than 8 times the monthly page views of mushroominfo.com. This will introduce The Blend to thousands of new consumers as well as bring new visitors to our site. In exchange, the mushroominfo.com site will feature a section using the same umbrella name and will feature Gourmet Garden mushroom recipes with a link back to their site. Both web sections are now being developed. The co-marketing promotion will be supported with PR and social media. The Council will continue working with Gourmet Garden to develop other retail-specific promotions.
Gourmet Garden products are found in the produce department (near mushrooms) so they make an excellent marketing partner. Consumers can easily purchase both mushrooms and Gourmet Garden products in the same part of the store.
In Retail Stores: A Turkey Mushroom Blend Burger is the lead recipe the California Avocado Commission is promoting on the cover of their 16-page consumer recipe booklet. How to prepare The Blend Turkey Mushroom Burger is detailed on its own page, inside the booklet.
Over 100,000 of these glossy-stock consumer recipe booklets are being distributed at retail and will be in-store (in the produce department) from May through July, just in time for the summer grilling holidays! The recipe is also featured on the Commission’s website.
Additionally, co-marketing opportunities are being discussed with Arla Cheese, the National Turkey Federation and many others potential partners.
- Mushroom Council Seeks Marketing Partner – The Packer
- Mushroom Industry Gathers for Conference – The Produce News
- Mushroom Council Announces Requests for Proposals – Perishable News
The Topline report week ending 2/22/2015 was sent to the industry on 4/06/2015; click here to access the report online.
Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy
Total Mushrooms – 4 Weeks
- The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +4.4% lagged Total Produce’s growth of +4.6% by -0.2 point
- Northeast led in dollar growth rate at +9.8%; Great Lakes posted the only decline at -3.1%
- On a Market basis, Albany posted strong dollar growth of +23.4%. Chicago posted the largest decline, down -26.0\
- Total U.S. Organic dollar sales grew +14.1%, driven by California (+63.6%) which held a 15.5% share of total Organic dollars
- Volume in pounds for Total U.S. increased +3.3% and Northeast led the Regions with a volume increase of +6.4%. Great Lakes and Plains volume declined -4.3% and -2.1%, respectively
- At the Market level, Philadelphia showed the largest volume increase at +15.4%
- Total U.S. Organic volume grew +2.1%, while California Organic volume increased +82.4%. California held a 12.5% share of total Organic volume
Segment/Variety – 4 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales of the White segment increased +2.8%, while Brown mushrooms exhibited growth of +5.6%
- Cremini mushrooms grew dollar sales +5.8% and Portabellas increased +5.0%
- On a Regional basis, Midsouth led the Regions in White mushroom dollar growth, up +14.0%
- Brown mushrooms posted growth in six of eight regions. Midsouth dollars declined -4.4%, while dollars in Southeast grew +9.8%
- White segment dollars were down in 11 of 49 Markets with results ranging from an increase of +24.2% in Raleigh/Greensboro to a decline of -39.1% in Chicago. In the Brown segment, 38 of 49 Markets posted strong dollar gains, including Albany (+34.5%), Philadelphia (+26.7%) and Tampa (+19.2%)
- Total U.S. volume in pounds for the White segment grew +1.1%, while the Brown segment saw overall volume growth of +7.3%, driven by Cremini mushrooms, up +10.4%
- In the Brown segment, Southeast led Regional volume growth at +15.7%. Plains and Midsouth declined -5.3% and -4.7%, respectively
Total Mushrooms – 52 Weeks
- The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +2.7% lagged Total Produce’s growth trend of +4.0% by -1.3 points
- California (12.3% dollar share) and Midsouth (10.9% dollar share) led the Regions with the top dollar sales trend, both up +4.8%. Northeast holds the largest dollar share 0.8%), but grew only +3.0%. Great Lakes and Plains were flat
- Most Markets experienced dollar growth, notably Philadelphia (+9.1%), Raleigh/Greensboro (+7.4%) and Omaha (+7.3%)
- Total U.S. Organic dollar sales grew +19.2%, driven by California (+56.1%) which held a 14.0% share of total Organic dollars
- Total U.S. mushroom volume in pounds grew +2.1%
- Six of eight Regions delivered volume growth, led by Midsouth at +4.9%. Plains declined -3.9%
- Only 11 of 49 Markets saw downward volume trends, including Pittsburgh
- (-3.9%) and Cleveland (-3.6%)
- Organic volume increased +14.5%, driven by California (+68.9%) which held a 10.6% share of total Organic volume
Segment/Variety – 52 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales for the White segment were flat, while Midsouth (+5.3%), California (+3.8%), and South Central (+2.9%) posted the only gains.
- In the Brown segment, Total U.S. dollar sales were up +5.6%. All Regions posted positive trends
- Total U.S. Brown segment dollar trends were driven by Portabella mushrooms, which hold a 32.5% dollar share of Browns and delivered sales growth of +10.7%
- At the Market level, dollar sales trends in the White segment ranged from an increase of +10.3% in Raleigh/Greensboro to a -10.8% decline in Chicago
- The Brown segment saw very strong dollar sales gains across 43 of 49 Markets, with Philadelphia leading at +15.1%. Sacramento showed the largest decline of -9.7%
- Total U.S. volume in pounds of White mushrooms was flat, but growth was seen in Midsouth (+4.5%) and California (+3.6%)
- Total U.S. volume in pounds of Brown mushrooms grew +7.6%, led by Southeast with growth of +12.3%
- Total U.S. Brown segment volume growth trends were driven by Portabella mushrooms which have a 30.3% volume share of Browns and delivered volume growth of +13.5%
- As with dollars, the Market level volume trends for the White segment were mixed, with 19 Markets trending upward including Charlotte (+13.8%) and Raleigh/Greensboro (+11.5%)
- The volume trend of Brown mushrooms fared better, with only five markets trending downward. Sacramento (-9.5%) and Buffalo/Rochester (-6.8%) posted the largest losses.
- Strong volume growth in the Brown segment occurred in these Markets: Philadelphia (+25.2%), Detroit (+18.3%) and Tampa (+17.8%)