Monthly Shipping Report | April 2016
- The Council office has moved! Our new address is 303 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 600, Redwood Shores, CA 94065; (650) 632-4250.
- The next Council meeting is July 12-13, 2016 in Minneapolis, MN. If you plan on attending, please email Cheryl@mushroomcouncil.org so we can make sure you are accommodated.
- Nominations for the 2017 open Council positions are coming to a close. Nominations must be postmarked no later than May 2. Ballots will be mailed on June 1.
- Region 1; All states except CA & PA (one position)
- Region 2; PA (one position)
- Region 3; CA (one position)
- USDA encourages all eligible producers including women, minorities and individuals with disabilities to participate in the nominations and seek nomination to serve on the Council.
Mushroom Council Marketing Summary – March 2016
Mushrooms appeared in a variety of regional and national lifestyle, business and trade outlets with articles highlighting mushroom recipes, pairings, nutrition and The Blend. The Blend, and specifically “blended burgers” appeared in several different publications in March, from Forbes and the New York Observer to Food & Wine and Cooking Light. Forbes posted a great article capturing the growth of the mushroom industry and The Blend – saying “mushrooms inside the burgers has become a thing.”
The New York Observer featured Chef Hugh Acheson’s blended burger and The Blended Burger project as a result of our Blended Burger Project Kick-Off event in New York City and Food & Wine picked up the Sodexo announcement, noting how blended burgers in schools are a great way to increase kids’ intake of vegetables/nutrients. Stemming from our media lunch in Birmingham at the Time Inc. Food Studios, Cooking Light featured a tribute to Chef Jenn Louis’ mushroom blended burger connecting the dots with their “flip your protein” series.
Please see below for a snapshot of coverage and links to key online and print articles:
|Date||Media Outlet||Title||Link URL|
|3/30/2016||CHICAGO TRIBUNE||Mushrooms provide flavor foundation for pork dish||Link|
|3/28/2016||CLOSER WEEKLY||LIGHT AND EASY SPRING SUPPERS||Link|
|3/28/2016||NEW YORK OBSERVER||8-Day Week – Blended Burger Project||Link|
|3/23/2016||NEW YORK TIMES||Miso Soup Delivers Deep||Link|
|3/9/2016||NEW YORK TIMES||Vegetarian Bowls Come Alive||Link|
|3/7/2016||WOMAN’S WORLD||Superfoods that work like medicine!||Link|
|3/6/2016||WALL STREET JOURNAL WEEKEND EDITION||More Than One Way To Roast a Chicken||Link|
|Date||Media Outlet||Title||Link URL|
|3/1/2016||VEGETARIAN TIMES||MOST LIKED RECIPE||Link|
|3/1/2016||VEGETARIAN TIMES||30 MINUTES||Link|
|3/1/2016||O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE||Your Almost Effortless Guide to Eating More Veggies||Link|
|3/1/2016||GOOD HOUSEKEEPING||MUSHROOM QUESADILLAS||Link|
|3/1/2016||FOOD NETWORK MAGAZINE||CURRIED VEGETARIAN CURRIED VEGETARIAN SHEPHERD’S PIE||Link|
|3/1/2016||EVERY DAY WITH RACHAEL RAY||Our 25 most popular pizza recipes!||Link|
|3/1/2016||FAMILY CIRCLE MAGAZINE||30 UNDER 30||Link|
|3/1/2016||COOKING LIGHT||let’s get cooking!||Link|
|3/1/2016||COOKING LIGHT||nutrition made easy||Link|
|3/1/2016||O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE||THE POWER OF 3||Link|
Download the FULL Social Analytics Report.
James Beard Foundation Promotion
With the promotion kicking off to expansive media coverage, chefs have already started to sign up and develop their Blended Burgers. The website is up and chefs from Phoenix to Portland to Atlanta are already coming onboard. Next month we should see considerable activity as James Beard begins promotion of the event with e-blasts and lunches in markets around the country. The Mushroom Council will also be showcasing the Blended Burger at a Blended Burger Bash at the Chefs Collaborative where 7 chefs from Denver to Boston will be cooking their versions.
April and May will also see more promotion around the Project in Plate Magazine, Restaurant Business and Foodservice Director.
Programs and Presentations
After last year presentations at NACUFS national conference and the Midwest region, we were invited to present at the Southern region and the Pacific and Mid-Continent regions of NACUFS. The Southern Region was introduced to The Blend and a number of colleges like the University of Georgia, the University of Texas and the University of New Mexico showed significant interest. At the other regions, the Council presented with the Executive Chef from Stanford University. Most colleges were interested in commercialization so they could serve burgers in their dining halls. The Council served Blended Burgers and also was on the agenda to present to hundreds of college chefs.
The Council also threw a Blended Burger Bash at the NRA’s Nutrition Education Group, which consists of dietitians from most of the top restaurant chains. With Chef Pam Smith conducting a demo, the Council presented The Blend to many of the top hotel chains, resorts, cruise lines and theme parks at The Flavor Summit held at the Culinary Institute of America. Many have asked for information about The Blend and the Blended Better Project, and we can expect a number of hotels to participate.
The Council was active in menu development with The Blend as well. Several sessions were held with major chains and a successful immersion was conducted with Google, around their new manufactured burger. With a team of chefs, we created new ideas around burgers as well as other items.
SCHOOL NUTRITION SUMMARY
- Districts in Massachusetts are testing the Blend in a partnership with a local meat producer Arnolds Meat. Arnolds is developing burgers to be used in the local districts as well as local universities.
- The Council distributed a direct send e-blast via School Nutrition Smart Brief. The e-blast presented the benefits of The Blend and encouraged recipients to ask for samples of the IQF mushrooms.
- Sodexo hosted a photo shoot of their Blend Burger varieties to be used in future media opportunities.
- Over a dozen districts requested samples of the USDA IQF mushrooms to sample to potentially add to their order.
- A major turkey manufacturer has run its first test of turkey mushroom blend burgers. Initial tests did not result in the preferred product form. Second round of testing will take place in April.
- The Council has developed digital ads to appear in the School Nutrition Association e-blast as well as a direct send via School Nutrition smart brief in order to promote the availability of mushrooms as well as Council developed resources.
- Mushroom Council plans to attend United Fresh’s School Nutrition Expo during their annual conference in June
- The Council has been working with the USDA to educate state recipients on the availability of mushrooms. The state recipients must add mushrooms to their foods available list in order for districts to add them to their commodity order list
- Sodexo released an infographic and press release about their switch to the Blend
- Discussions with Dairy Management Inc. have started to incorporate a Blended Burger Bash at the annual Fuel Up to Play 60 summer summit. The event would launch the Blended Burger Bash campaign for School Year 2016/2017
- A school nutrition industry webinar is planned for June to arm Mushroom sales representatives with the best resources to take advantage of school sales.
- A new school nutrition advertisement featuring the new campaign Blend the Rules was featured in School Nutrition magazine’s February issue.
- 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 8,000+ nutrition influencers. This issue featured a guest article from media RD Rebecca Scritchfield and a handout on mushrooms and weight management. It also highlighted National Nutrition Month and promoted the Mighty Mushrooms Pinterest Contest as well as the new Retail RD Toolkit.
The brand new Retail Dietitian Toolkit is now available on MushroomsAtRetail.com and MushroomCouncil.org. So far, the Toolkit has been marketed via dedicated e-blasts, our quarterly nutrition e-newsletter, at Oldways Supermarket RD Symposium, press release and media outreach (with pick up by The Packer). We will also be marketing the Toolkit via our partnership with Retail Dietitians Business Alliance (RDBA) later this month.
The Mushroom Council sponsored The 6th Annual Oldways Supermarket Dietitian Symposium in New Orleans, Louisiana from March 20-22, 2016. This was the Council’s third year in a row sponsoring this event and found it to be valuable once again to engage with 60 supermarket registered dietitians (SRDs) and over 100 attendees with information about The Blend. Our presentation on The Blend was well-received by attendees and respected members of the industry.
At the Marketplace, we had a chance to sample a 50/50 Blend recipe – Mushroom and Turkey Tacos with Salsa and Cojita Cheese and had many conversations with SRDs who are interested in bringing The Blend to their retailer. Overall, Oldways continues to be a successful activation for the Council to reach SRDs and to ultimately sell The Blend at retail
Our activation with RDBA kicks off next month with a sponsored newsletter article titled “Serve Up a Healthier Burger for National Burger Month” that will reach 1900+ members with ideas on how to promote and sell The Blend at their retailer.
The Council delivered a “Happy RDN Day” e-blast to media, blogger and SRD influencers, announcing the launch of the Council’s new retail dietitian Toolkit.
The Council followed-up with Oldways attendees with a dedicated e-blast, reinforcing working together to get The Blend in their retailers. We also have a list of 17 SRDs to follow-up with from Oldways who expressed interest in figuring out how to get The Blend in their stores.
Rouses Markets is interested in selling The Blend and finding suppliers to help them do so. The Council followed-up with supplier information and resources.
Weis Markets started featuring “Mushrooms Are A Superfood” Signage this month in 165 of their stores. The signage includes messaging on the nutrition benefits of both mushrooms and The Blend. These signs are placed throughout the produce section and in the canned vegetables center aisle and will remain there throughout the rest of the year.
The Council continues to target small to mid-sized regional retailers (on both coasts) with newly updated sales information and co-marketing plans that promote mushrooms and The Blend at retail.
Shippers / Growers
The Council continues working with more and more shippers on programs, promotions and materials to generate awareness and sales of The Blend at retail. Please contact Fusion Marketing for sales and marketing assistance on your Blend or mushroom programs. Contact information can be found at MushroomsAtRetail.com.
Kroger sampled The Blend in a shared food and wine demo featuring Turkey Taco Blend samples and wine from The Wine Group. These demos are run by foodservice professionals with a high level of wine and culinary knowledge. The chef demo events were featured in Kroger stores in Atlanta, Dallas/Houston and North Carolina and Virginia. The Mushroom Turkey Taco Blend recipe card was distributed during the event. The Council sponsored a portion of the 74 store demos. Eight percent of stores completely “sold out” of their mushroom packages; and 48% sold 15 or more packages of mushrooms during the event.
The Council had a meeting with Doc’s Country Mart in March to discuss promoting The Blend in their stores. They are planning on carrying The Blend in the meat, deli and produce departments. The Council will use this retailer as a potential case study, which will then be able to be shared with the industry to encourage more retailers to carry The Blend. A fresh mushroom garden will be on display at the stores. Four recipe cards will be printed and distributed at nine store locations during the promotional period. In addition, the Mushroom Blend-Scale Infographic will be resized and used to promote The Blend. Posters will also be created to promote the occasion. The poster and Infographic will be created by Rees + Stager. A consumer press release and a trade press release will be distributed announcing the promotion.
Senior leadership from Doc’s Country Mart met with the Council and took a tour of J-M Farms.
Rouses Market is located in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama with over 50 stores. They have smokehouses, sausage kitchens and seafood boiling rooms built in their stores. They support locally grown partners. They have freshly prepared food in their stores. The Council supplied Blend materials and information to their retail dietitian. The Council met with her at Oldways and also visited the local store in Louisianna. The produce manager said the mushroom planogram will be rolled out to all the other stores. Rouses has asked for more information in carrying The Blend in their deli department as a healthy item for the hot line. The Council is following up.
This Rouses Market in New Orleans is their flagship store. When you walk through the door, this mushroom display is the first thing customers see. This planogram is planned to be rolled out into all 50 Rouses Market stores.
The Council is implementing opportunities for 2016 retail co-marketing promotions.
The Council is in discussion with the National Turkey Federation to cross promote Blend recipes, mushroom and turkey recipes along with links to respective sites.
The Council is reviewing cross promotional activities with Cabot Cheese. Promotions may include Blend recipes on each website and small sampling event opportunities. More information will be provided as the project is developed.
The two recipes for the Beef Check-off Veal Summer Grilling promotion include: Veal and Portobello Mushroom Blend Burger and Veal and Mushroom Blend Meatball. The recipes were created by the Culinary Institute of America. The photos and videos of each recipe will be available in late April. The promotion runs from June 17 through September 2, 2016.
Conferences and Networking
The Council networked with Supermarket Registered Dietitians while attending the Oldways Symposium March 22-24 in New Orleans. The Mushroom Blend Turkey Taco recipe card was distributed to the Supermarket Registered Dietitians at the tradeshow.
Rees + Stager/Fusion Marketing is creating a Blend sell sheet to help growers sell-in The Blend. A script will also accompany the sell sheet to help them talk about The Blend in more detail.
Retailer Data Information
The Council published a new report: Fresh Mushroom Fast Facts: A Quick Guide to Shopper Purchase Behaviors
The report indicates that 55% of households spent an average of $15.78 in 2015 to reach over $1 billion in sales. A +$1 increase in annual household spend represents an annual sales opportunity of over $66 million! To read the full report, click here.
The Council continues to deliver The Tracker Suite on a monthly basis along with ad hoc information when needed.
- Mushroom Council Launches Retail Dietitian Toolkit– The Packer
- Making A Mushroom Boom – Produce Business
Tracker Highlights from 2/21/2016
Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy
- In the 4‐weeks – Organics drive 4‐week growth!
- In the 52‐weeks – Mushrooms outpace Total Produce for two consecutive periods!