Monthly Shipping Report | August 2015
- The next Council meeting is September 16-17 in Seattle, WA. If you plan on attending, please email Cheryl@mushroomcouncil.org so we can make sure you are accommodated.
- Ballots have been verified and tabulated. Paperwork is now being prepared to send nominees to the Secretary of Agriculture for appointment. Positions are for Region 2; PA (two positions) and Region 3 (one position). Thank you to all who participated; it was the best participation year in quite a while.
- The 2014 Annual Report is on our website.
To see current charts click here.
- Food trucks bring local fare into Rock Hi, Charlotte Observer, 7/1
- Kentucky state fair offers prize opportunity to show off recipes, Lexington Herald-Leader, 7/1
- Dietary Supplements During Cancer Treatment: Yes or No?, U.S. News & World Report, 7/1
- 5 tips for a healthier burger, FOX News, 7/7
- Clean, green and personalized: Try this healthy spinach-mushroom lasagna, TODAY Show, 7/13
- 5-Ingredient Grilled Shrimp-Stuffed Mushrooms, Food Network Healthy Eats Blog, 7/13
- What’s Cooking? Belly Acres, Local Memphis, 7/16
- The surprising trick 7 Philly restaurants used to make a better burger — for your taste buds, and your waist line, BillyPenn.com, 7/17
- Liz Biro: You could eat this burger every day, Indy Star, 7/22
- Like Mushroom Pizza? We’re Gonna Take You to Funghitown, Serious Eats, 7/23
- You could eat this burger every day, Indianapolis Star, 7/26
- “Mushrooms,” FOX News Sunday House Call, 7/26
- 10 Superfoods That Can Help You Achieve More Restful Sleep, Huffington Post, 7/27
- Upcoming food events in the Pittsburgh area, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/29
- The Huffington Post highlighted the benefits (superfood, meat replacement, flavor, versatility) of mushrooms in three, separate articles across the Healthy Living and Food verticals.
- Mushroom Channel published three blogger recipes posts garnering 1,408 page views and accounted for 1.4% percent of all website referral traffic in July.
- Search ad words accounted for 9.06% of total visits in July. Top performing paid keywords included: mushroom recipes, recipes for meatloaf and stuffed mushrooms.
For more detailed social analytics download the NEW Social Analytics Report here.
On The Horizon
- Partner with YouTube influencers and blogger Billy Parisi to create social content promoting September Mushroom Month.
While the James Beard promotion wrapped up at the end of the month, other burger promotions were just getting started. And of course, the common denominator…mushrooms.
Burgers With Mushrooms Are Everywhere
Research has shown that mushrooms are the #1 vegetable topper for burgers once you discount lettuce, tomatoes and onions which are more like condiments. Restaurant chains all across the country have shown that to be true this summer. Carl’s, Jr. introduced their first line extension for their All-Natural Burger, and, of course, it is Mushroom and Swiss. For those who are familiar with the personality of Carl’s, Jr. advertising, it was quite the surprise that their spokesperson was “the mushroom”. They even had a contest prior to guess who their new spokesperson was, before they revealed it was mushrooms. You can read all about it and see the TV Spot at HERE.
At the same time, Jack in the Box served up its version of a mushroom burger with its Portobello Mushroom Buttery Jack which is part of the Buttery Jack line being credited with driving new sales at Jack in the Box. View the TV spot HERE.
McDonald’s began the summer with a long LTO around its third pound Sirloin burger with one of the three builds being mushrooms. Called the Steakhouse Burger, McDonald’s used mushrooms to showcase a better quality burger especially to Millennials.
Now, McDonald’s is introducing its “Create Your Taste” strategy which is intended to be the “future of McDonald’s”. That program, which is rolling out across the country, features mushrooms as a build possibility as well as a promoted build on menu boards. In Chicago, to see what burger builds are most popular, McDonald’s is running a crowd-starter promotion that lets consumers build their own burgers. Everyone should go online and build a mushroom burger any way you would like. Here is one that was built that included mushrooms. Go to www.burgerbuildoff.com to build your mushroom burger.
Even The RAM Restaurant and Brewery got into the game with its mushroom burger—The Mushroom Burger Melt–which is new this summer.
Colleges and Universities:
The Council was at Purdue for a Blend menu development session right before the national NACUFS conference which brought thousands of college foodservice operators together. The Council not only exhibited, but was also featured on two panels, one with Harvard and the Blend opportunities they pursued with The Council, and the other was on “New Strategies for Feeding Athletes” where Blending and the Mushroom Council’s test pilots at Stanford, Washington State University, USC and University of Arizona were presented.
In July, the Council also attended and exhibited at International Food Technologists conference to talk about The Blend. Coming up, the Council is also speaking to a group of major chains next month and work with other colleges who continue to adopt the Blend for the new academic year.
SCHOOL NUTRITION SUMMARY
- Mushroom Council added approximately 300 school nutrition directors and managers to the school nutrition database. The database receives monthly newsletters and updates promoting mushrooms in schools. The Council sampled fresh mushrooms, blended meatballs and IQF diced mushrooms at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah from July 14th-16th while distributing recipes and information sheets.
- Mushroom Council shared the IQF Diced Mushroom fact and promotional sheet directly with all 50 state recipients of USDA Food products. Outreach promoting the availability of IQF Diced mushrooms directly to school districts and states will continue through the school year.
- 8 trucks of USDA mushrooms were ordered for school year 2015/2016, additional trucks are estimated to be ordered around December for the second half of the school year. These trucks are being sent both directly to processors for the development of Blend products and to states directly for on-site blending.
- Mushrooms were featured for their partnership with the Cranberry Marketing Committee in the SNA ANC wrap up article in Food Management magazine
- The brand new Mushroom Farm to School Kit was shared with all Farm to School coordinates in each state to promote the new materials and the availability of mushrooms for Harvest of the Month programs.
- All recipes on mushroomsinschools.com are currently being updated to meet changing meal pattern requirements. You can view the updated recipes and resources here.
Retail – Supermarket RD
- FNCE: Sent out save the dates to 50+ dietitians from supermarket, media, and food service channels for dinner with Chef Chauhan at Chauhan Ale & Masala House in Nashville on Sunday, October 4th. To date, over 20 RDs have confirmed attendance. Currently coordinating logistics and finalizing menu for the evening.
- Developing Industry Sales Webinar on Leveraging Supermarket Dietitians
- Finalized content for Mushroom Nutrition At A Glance handout.
- Planning content for Q3 Nutrition News About Mushrooms E-Newsletter to be distributed in September.
The Council continues to target small to mid-sized regional retailers (on both coasts) for the introduction of The Blend in grocery chain’s deli, foodservice and meat departments.
The Council sent Blend recipe cards for Reasor’s “Ask the RDs” event to be held August 20th in various stores in NE Oklahoma. These events sample products, nutrition education and recipes. The Council is discussing the opportunity to place The Blend products in their stores and is looking to gain the support of the retailer’s RD’s.
The Council is in discussions with Buehler’s Fresh Foods to discuss placing The Blend into their stores. Buehler’s has 15 locations with cafes and chefs in every store.
The Council shared The Blend concept with Lisa Boyd, brand developer for the Simply Balanced brand. Simply Balanced is Target’s wellness-focused private label. They are interested in The Blend for their products.
Updated: The Redner’s Warehouse Market – Redner’s ran a 20-store demo July 17th – 19th for The Blend. Information and recipes with The Blend recipes were given to customers during the demo.
Comments from demo staff regarding The Blend:
“Customers thought by adding mushrooms to the meat it was a great way to add vegetables without spending a lot of money.”
“This is something customers would make at home.”
Below are promotional pieces and posts Redner’s used to promote the demo:
C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. – As a part of their retail test, four supermarkets sampled The Blend during a four-day promotion. Rough estimate of attendance was 150 people per store with approximately 600 people sampling The Blend. Anecdotally, consumers mentioned they could not tell there were mushrooms in the meat, but felt they were very moist and flavorful. They were surprised at the use of mushroom-meat blend and felt it could help stretch their food budget, adding nutritional value. C&S also cross-merchandised with a display containing mushrooms in their meat department along with the Mushroom Council’s recipe books.
Independent Grocers Alliance created a health and wellness Better Choices microsite and will promote The Blend using content from mushroominfo.com. The content is planned to be featured in September.
The Council has contacted Nugget Markets, Giant Eagle, Marsh, and several other retailers to introduce Blend items in their stores.
The Veal Mushroom Summer Grilling Sweepstakes promotion has generated 98,527 entries!
The promotion runs through September 4th. To amplify the promotion, the Council sent out an eblast on July 27th to the mushroom lover’s list.
Additionally, The Council created four Instagram videos and new photos using mushrooms and veal. The videos will be promoted in August.
A Facebook contest is also planned for August. Consumers will share a photo of their summer grilling. They will have a chance to win a food processor and a last chance to enter the $500 grocery sweepstakes.
The Council and Veal / Beef Check-off share a Pinterest board with the six recipes being featured in the Instagram videos.
American Egg Board: The Council created an Infographic that will be shared through social media from both the American Egg Board and The Council. Smaller images will be used for multiple Twitter posts. A social media plan is underway with most of the activity taking place in September for Mushroom Month. A Pinterest Board with shared recipes is also in development.
Download the Infographic to size HERE.
Jennifer Strailey from Progressive Grocer wrote an article titled, “40 Billion Pounds Served.” The article highlights the benefits of The Blend. Click here for the full article. Go to page 123.
- Children Drive Changes Towards Fresh Produce – The Packer
- Produce Proves it can steal Protein’s Thunder – The Packer
- Mushroom Blending Takes First Place at PMA Foodservice – And Now U Know
- Mushroom Council Continues It’s Promotional Stronghold – The Produce News
- Mushrooms in Foodservice – Produce Business
- In the trenches Mushroom Merchandizing Past to Present – The Produce News
The Topline report week ending 6/14/2015 was sent to the industry on 8/05/2015; click here to access the report online.