Monthly Shipping Report | August 2013
- The next Council meeting is being held on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 in Washington D.C. If you would like to attend this meeting please contact Cheryl so we can make sure you are accommodated.
- The August issue of the Mushrooms and Health Bulletin can be viewed by clicking here.
- Summer/Fall 2013 edition of USDA’s “AMS Fruit and Vegetable Program News.”. In this issue, you’ll be introduced to Anne L. Alonzo, the new Administrator of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). You’ll also find program updates; information about additional resources offered by USDA, including our webinar series; and, the following articles:
- AMS Commodity Procurement: Meeting the Needs of Schools and U.S. Agriculture
- Specialty Crop Inspection Division Supports the USDA Commodity Purchase Program
- Blendability Builds New Mushroom Market
This and previous issues of the newsletter can be found in the “AMS Fruit and Vegetable Program News” library.
Note: If you would like to register to receive the newsletters when they are released, please email Cheryl@mushroomcouncil.org to get your email address registered.
To see current charts through May 2013 click here.
Mushroom Council Marketing Summary – July 2013
- July consumer media highlights feature mushrooms in articles about Blendability, meat replacement, grilling, weight management and versatility. Click on the links below to view the full stories.
- Grill Vegetables Like a Pro, Health, August 2013
- Mushrooms: Taste of the Earth, Food & Nutrition, July/August 2013
- 4 Marvelous Methods for Manipulating Mushrooms, America’s Test Kitchen, 7/30
- Chefs, recipes hold sway at PMA Foodservice, The Packer, 7/29
- Richard Blais’ Earth & Turf Burger Recipe, ABC, 7/22
- Make These Classic Dishes Totally Meatless (and Not Notice), SELF, 7/22
- A Mushroom Main Dish, bon appetit, 7/22
- 6 Boyfriend-Approved Vegan Recipes, Shape, 7/18
- Summer Food with Richard Blais, “The View,” 7/17
- Unlocking Umami, Chicago Tribune, 7/17
- Best Mushrooms For Meatless Dishes, SELF, 7/15
- School lunches get healthy makeover, Fox News 4 (Kansas City, MO), 7/15
- Chicago’s Epic Burger Finds Success with Mushroom Monday Promotion, Meatless Monday, 7/15
- 10 ways to cut calories from your burger, Fox News, 7/12
- o Test Kitchen bonus: Florida mushrooms are on the menu, Orlando Sentinel, 7/10
- 10 Surprising Healthy Foods You Can Throw On The Grill, Huffington Post, 7/3
- Sunny’s Grilled Mushroom and Pine Nut Salad, “Rachael Ray Show,” 7/2
- Our Favorite Burger Recipes, Epicurious, 7/2
- The Best Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers, Skinny Taste, 7/1
- Oyster Mushroom Recipes: Our Favorite Ways to Cook Them, Huffington Post, 7/1
- The Council worked integrally with Top Chef Richard Blais to create a 50 percent mushrooms and 50 percent beef burger recipe and placed it on the menu of his popular Atlanta restaurant, Flip Burger Boutique, and then conducted media outreach to promote the recipe and partnership.
- These efforts culminated in Blais’ appearance on ABC’s daytime talk show “The View.” In a segment about summer cookouts, Blais served his Earth & Turf Burger to the hosts as a better-for-you grilling option. Check out the segment to see “The View” ladies and their guests devour their burgers. The recipe now lives on the ABC website and has been shared by “The View” and Blais across social channels.
- Additionally, the burger originally launched at only one FLIP burger boutique restaurant location but due to popular demand is now making its way onto the menu at additional FLIP restaurants for an extended period of time.
- The Council supported the partnership on social media with posts from Richard on his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels as well as 17 tweets, five Facebook posts and two blog posts from the Mushroom Channel.
- The partnership and burger recipe were further amplified through notable posts from The View, fitness magazine and several Atlanta bloggers.
- The Mushrooms and Health Summit is scheduled for September 9-10 in Washington, D.C. The Council is currently:
- Finalizing the agenda and speaker presentations
- Coordinating event logistics
- Enacting an integrated media communications plan
- Search Engine Marketing drove approximately 39 percent of total visits to MushroomInfo.com during July 2013 with 13,998 total visits.
- Top performing keywords included “mushrooms nutrition,” “mushroom farming,” “nutritional value of mushrooms” and “growing mushrooms.”
- The Mushroom Channel blog published nine posts in July, including new recipes by blogger contributors.
- The Council’s Swap it or Top it Facebook recipe contest concluded July 31st and received 119 entries.
- The Swap It or Top It Facebook ad campaign generated 1,152,756 impressions, 18,273 clicks and 39,783 actions.
- Facebook fans increased one percent from June, generating more than 1.5 million impressions.
- Twitter fans increased two percent since June, resulting in more than 2.8 million impressions.
- The Mushroom Channel participated in a Twitter chat hosted by @Fruits_Veggies with the hashtag #PicnicPals discussing Summer Picnics. The chat drew 70 unique participants garnering a total of 115,920 impressions.
On The Horizon
September is National Mushroom Month and the Council is leveraging the Mushrooms and Health Summit to conduct traditional and social media promotions to drive conversations about mushrooms.
The Mushroom Council will begin adding new Infographics to the two that launched last month. Besides new Infographics, the Mushroom Council will be adding several new case histories for grower use. On the horizon are success stories at Washington University, Epic Burger, PMA (see below) and a new USC case history. The Council also participated in the latest industry webinar focusing on the opportunity for Blendability with colleges & universities.
There were several important events and meetings that took place with chains and colleges where we talked about new mushroom opportunities including Blendability and Swapability. The Council met with a major Italian chain to negotiate a promotion. It also met with a major fast casual chain, which re-introduced mushrooms for the first time last year, and now will be launching new items—one on a sandwich and one at breakfast this fall. In addition, we participated in a menu development session with a major breakfast player.
The Council attended PMA this year, and not only sponsored the opening break serving our Jamaican Mushroom Lettuce Wraps that showcased Swapability, but also participated in the lunchtime culinary competition.
This year, like last year, the PMA held a competition to see which items best met their theme of “Innovate the Plate”. The Council competed against entries by Chef Todd Fisher, host of Discovery Communications’s United States of Bacon, with his Lobster Taco; Chef Tony Baker, from Montrio Bistro in Monterey known as the “Artichoke Chef”, with his Citrus Shaved Brussels Spout Salad with Shrimp; Chef Joey Elenterio, who has received a Michelin Star and an award as a San Francisco Rising Star Chef, with his Charred Smashed Potatoes; and Chef Chris Hanmer, winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef: Just Desserts”, with his Orange-Poached Peaches & Cream, Panna Cotta and Churro. Against the great chefs who were competing and in a second year in a row, the Mushroom Council won the competition, based on votes by the participants.
In this year’s competition, the Council showcased Mushroom-Beef Blended Sliders and Mushroom-Turkey Blended Sliders with a variety of slaws. Voters could create a healthier BBQ burger, a Farmstead Burger, a Mediterranean Burger, an Asian Burger, a Korean Burger or a Southwestern Burger with the available toppings. Once again, the significance and relevance of the Blendability concept triumphed, demonstrating just how popular this concept can be.
The Council is working with several of the most influential colleges in the nation that have already introduced blendable items. Now with our help, they have decided to take Blendability to the next level. One major FSM company is continuing to roll-out its own version of the concept, and the Council continues to help them develop new promotional materials.
On a new front, because of the momentum building behind Blendability, the Mushroom Council was invited to speak at a Midwest Research Chefs Association (RCA) meeting showcasing how a product starts at the idea stage and then is commercialized. The Council presented to around 30 menu developers at the event and showcased meatballs, crab cakes and sliders made with Mushroom-Meat blends. Based on the success of that presentation, the Council was invited to speak at the Prepared Foods Magazine R&D mid-year conference, where we held an Applications Lab for around 40 menu developers and presented the evolution and the benefits of Blendability and mushrooms as a nutritional powerhouse.
On The Horizon
The Council will be spending much of its time following up on the incredible number of colleges that want to see how Blendability can work on their campus, as well as several menu development opportunities with a number of chains.
SCHOOL NUTRITION SUMMARY
- Mushroom Council Board Members, Fletcher Street, Jim Angelucci, Dave Carroll, Pat Jurgensmeyer and Roberto Ramirez along with Council employees met with members of the USDA on Friday, June 14 including Deputy Under Secretary of Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, Dr. Janey Thornton and new Administrator to the Agriculture Marketing Service, Anne Alonzo. Council members discussed the pending mushroom purchase for the National School Lunch Program.
- A frozen mushroom spec submission was submitted to the USDA for consideration on June 10. The spec was discussed during the Council meeting on June 14. The final spec will be submitted to the industry for review and comments in late June.
- The three successful mushroom blendability pilot programs in St. Louis, South Bend and Hickman Mills were documented into case studies as an industry resource.
- The Council is finalizing content for the upcoming MushroomsInSchools.com Website. Look out for the launch in late July.
- The Council is preparing to showcase mushroom blendability in a culinary demonstration and through booth sampling at this year’s School Nutrition Annual National Conference in Kansas City July 14-17th.
- An E-Blast highlighting mushroom blendability in schools was distributed to school district attendees from the Culinary Institute’s Healthy Flavors, Healthy Kids summit.
- Progress on the Mushroom Council’s School Nutrition Program was reported at the Council’s Regional Meetings May 16th, 17th and 21st.
- Council School Nutrition resources can be found here.
The Topline report week ending 07/14/13 was sent to the industry on 08/21/2013; click here to access the report online.
Total Mushrooms – 4 Weeks
- The Total U.S. dollar sales growth of +2.5% lagged Total Produce (+6.5%) by -4.0 points
- The Plains Region led in dollar growth at +7.6%, with Great Lakes coming in second at +6.9%. All other Regions were also up except for California and Midsouth, which were flat at -0.9% and -0.3%, respectively
- On a Market basis, Kansas City posted very strong dollar growth at +18.1% (a large gain on a smaller base). Charlotte exhibited the largest decline at -4.8%
- Volume in pounds for the Total U.S. increased by +3.4% over the prior year. Northeast led with the largest increase in volume, +5.6%. All Regions exhibited positive trends during this period.
- At the Market level, Kansas City saw a +16.7% increase in volume, while St. Louis declined -8.8%
Segment/Variety – 4 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales of the White segment were flat at -0.5%, while Brown mushrooms continued to grow, up +9.4% overall. Portabellas were the growth driver, up +24.5% or +$1.7 million. Creminis also experienced dollar growth at+2.7%
- On a Regional basis, the dollar sales trends for the White segment were mixed. Great Lakes delivered the top dollar sales trend (+3.4%), while South Central declined -4.4%
- The Brown segment saw growth in six of eight Regions, with South Central taking the top spot, up +23.4%. California and Northeast declined slightly, -1.7% and -1.4%, respectively
- At the Market level, White segment dollar trends were mixed, ranging from +16.8% in Albany to a decline of -8.8% in Raleigh/Greensboro. Twenty-four markets declined in White mushroom dollar sales. Conversely, 41 of 50 Markets posted growth in the Brown segment, including Kansas City (+46.6%) and Houston (+45.8%)
- Total U.S. volume in pounds for the White segment was flat at +0.5% while the Brown segment saw overall volume growth of +11.9%, driven by Portabella mushroom growth of +29.0% or +372k pounds
- On a Regional basis, four of eight Regions in the White segment increased in volume, with Northeast showing the strongest trends, up +5.5%. Brown mushrooms fared better with seven of eight Regions exhibiting growth. South Central was up +32.7%, while California declined -4.8%
Total Mushrooms – 52 Weeks
- The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +3.5% lagged Total Produce’s growth of +7.2% by -3.7 points
- On a Regional basis, all Regions were up vs. the prior 52-week period. Northeast held the largest dollar share (20.9%) and grew +1.8% while Plains (6.9% share) led t he Regions with the top dollar sales trend of +7.2%
- At the Market level, most Markets experienced dollar growth, notably Milwaukee (+17.0%), Cleveland (+11.5%), New Orleans/Mobile (+10.5%), and Jacksonville (+8.7%)
- Total U.S. mushroom volume in pounds grew +3.9%
- All Regions witnessed volume growth, led by Plains at +7.4% and West at +7.1%
- Only 3 of 50 Markets saw declines: Harrisburg/Scranton (-2.5%), Houston (-1.5%) and New York (-1.4%)
Segment/Variety – 52 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales for the White segment were flat with Midsouth (-3.2%) and South Central (-3.1%) posting declines. In the Brown segment, dollar sales were up +12.8%. All Regions posted positive trends with six Regions in the double digits
- Brown segment trends were driven by Cremini mushrooms, which holds a 72.1% dollar share of Browns and delivered sales growth of +8.6% or nearly $18 million
- At the Market level, dollar sales trends in the White segment varied greatly, ranging from growth of +13.5% in Milwaukee to a -7.2% decline in Charlotte
- The Brown segment saw very strong dollar sales gains across most Markets, with Salt Lake City leading at +33.5%. San Francisco was the only declining market, down -2.8%
- Total U.S. volume in pounds of White mushrooms was flat, while gains were seen in California (+5.6%), Plains (+3.2%) and West (+1.5%). Total U.S. volume in pounds of Brown mushrooms grew +15.0%, led by the West with volume growth of +30.1%
- Brown segment volume growth was driven by Cremini mushrooms, which have a 74.9% volume share of Browns and delivered growth of +10.6% or nearly five million pounds
- As with dollars, the Market level volume trends for the White segment were mixed, with 26 Markets in decline including West Tex/New Mexico (-10.8%) and Dallas/Ft. Worth (-7.5%)
- The volume trend for Brown mushrooms fared significantly better, with only three Markets posting downward trends: San Francisco (-11.7%), Hartford/Springfield (-2.3%) and Grand Rapids (-2.1%)
- Strong volume increases in the Brown segment occurred in these Markets: West Tex/New Mexico (+79.6%), New Orleans/Mobile (+44.7%) and Salt Lake City (+39.7%)
- Communications surrounding the Council’s Richard Blais promotion were shared with the trade press.
- School Nutrition Association Finds Produce Vibe – The Packer7/16/2013
- Commodity Boards Support Foodservice – The Packer 7/17/2013
- Richard Blais uses Mushrooms in Promotion – The Perishable News 7/05/2013