Shipping Reports

Monthly Shipping Report | December 2013

December 19, 2013


  • A call for nominations for 3-year terms beginning January 1, 2015 will be mailed no later than February 3, 2014. The regions with a position opening up are Region 1 (one position), Region 2 (one position) and Region 4 (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.
  • The next Council meeting is being held on February 27-28, 2014 in Orlando, FL. If you are interested in attending, please contact [email protected] so we can make sure that you are accommodated.
  • As a courtesy, Exemption Applications for 2014 have been mailed to those who currently hold an exemption number. Exempt producers must apply each year for exemption; 2013 exemption numbers expire on December 31, 2013 and a new number is needed beginning January 1, 2014.


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To see current charts through September 2013 click here.



Mushroom Council Marketing Summary – November 2013

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  • “The Trend is to Blend” and since the Council’s partnership with Chef Richard Blais this past summer, he has continued to tout the numerous health and taste benefits of Blendability. In particular, Blais has been promoting the Earth & Turf Burger as the poster example of the delicious and nutritious foods that he and co-host Keri Glassman are encouraging and creating in their new TV show. The latest media placements include:
    • A segment on“Access Hollywood Live” featuring Blais and former Council RD spokesperson Keri Glassman, where Blais declares that Game Day is about burgers and showcases his Earth & Turf Burger recipe. “This is mostly mushrooms if you can believe that or not. Really proud of this recipe because it’s 50 percent mushrooms… It’s less than half the amount of beef you’d have in a normal burger… The mushrooms actually keep the burger juicier.”
  • An article on CNN about Blais’ 60-pound weight loss had him talking about the Earth & Turf Burger as an example of how to create flavorful food that is healthy and delicious. “If you want the flavor of fat without the calories, go for mushrooms, he says. To make the patty for the Earth + Turf burger at Flip Burger Boutique, Blais mixes mushrooms in with the beef, for example.”
  • A series of placements stemming from an interview with Men’s Health magazine where Blais offers Blendability as his first tip for enjoying healthy food without sacrificing taste. The article was also picked up in the Washington Post and amplified through the SmartBrief nutrition/foodservice newsletters as well as the Men’s Health Weight Loss e-newsletter.


  • NPR’s food blog, The Salt (known for covering emerging food trends) made a case to Make Room For Mushrooms: Fungi Compete With Meat In Burgers. Through links and stories of how experts across the country are using/appreciating mushrooms, this piece demonstrates how the “Trend to Blend” is taking off – and helping to make meals, kids and families healthier along the way. In addition to Blendability messaging, the article gave a nod to the Mushrooms and Health Summit, mushroom research and numerous health benefits. Also, a collection of mushroom ambassadors are mentioned and Chef Richard Blais’ Earth & Turf Burger is the spotlight image.
    • This artcile reverberated across social media resulting in 6,028,449 online impressions with highlights from The Cheesecake Factory, PHA, The Consumerist and several influential RDs.
    • Additionally, comments on the article as well as social media posts were positive in sentiment noting receptiveness to the Blendability approach and mushrooms as an on-trend ingredient.

Post by NPR.


    • November was the month for mushrooms at Whole Foods Market as they touted mushrooms’ flavor and versatility across their social media channels to encourage usage during the holiday season. Not only did Whole Foods feature mushrooms in their Facebook page cover photo, they also penned a blog on their website, created several “Beyond the Button” infographics showcasing mushroom versatility and shared recipes and cooking/prepartion tips with their audiences across Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest (1,434,633 likes; 3,598,024 followers; and 161,604 followers respectively).



  • A featured Thanksgiving Pinterest board generated 429 repins from 29 pins resulting in 64,000 impressions.


  • Capitalizing on the seasonality of Thanksgiving and holiday food conversations, the Council utilized paid support to attract new Facebook fans and increase exposure to holiday recipes. Paid promotion resulted in 162,128 impressions and 1,475 new page likes.

  • Search Engine Marketing drove approximately 22% of total visits to
    • Top performing keywords included “mushroom recipe,” “stuffed mushrooms,” “thanksgiving stuffing” “vitamin d foods” and “crab stuffed mushrooms.”
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Industry Tools

Foodservice-NovemberLast week, The Council completed a photo shoot in partnership with the American Egg Board to promote mushrooms in egg dishes at breakfast.  Together we shot photos for a Green Curry-Shiitake (Food Truck) omelet, Huevos Rancheros in a Portabella, a Steakhouse Breakfast with Buttons and Criminis, a Tuscan Breakfast Flatbread with Mushroom Medley and a Breakfast Poutine with Mushroom Medley.  Promotion will be through an E-Recipe Book, social media, public relations and AEB’s and our website.  The E-Recipe Book, which is in partnership with Flik Independent School Districts, is in development.   Case histories that are being designed and approved include Washington University, Brooklyn and Portland chef tables and Epic Burger, among others.

Marketing Summary

Campus BlendabilityStanford continues to add more mushrooms and work with their meat suppliers to bring in a blendable burger, including a blendable turkey burger. U Mass is moving forward similarly, while Harvard and Yale continue to look at new blendable recipes for their dining halls. Compass has approved the Mushroom-Blended Favorites as a focal point of all their training programs for 2014, with support from the Council with training materials, handouts, menuing and a recipe contest.

In New York City earlier in December, Chef Jehangir Mehta from Graffiti was invited to cook at the 30th Anniversary of the Culinary Trust, the funding arm of IACP of which Julia Child was an original trustee. Chef Mehta picked, as his theme, “The Re-Imagining of the American Burger” and used every type of mushroom he could to showcase his “food of the future.  The burger consisted of an Angus Burger blended with Portabellas on a Brioche Bun with Mushroom Butter, topped with Chili-Pickled Oyster Mushrooms, Black Trumpet Mayo and a King Mushroom Cheddar Chip. Alongside was Enoki Mushroom Fries with Shiitake and Maitake Ketchup.Top chefs like Thomas Keller had a chance to enjoy this mushroom-centric burger.

Chef-MehtaOn the commercial front, mushrooms have been so popular many chains are bringing back customer favorite menu items. While Au bon pain continues to promote its mushroom sandwiches at breakfast and lunch, Panera is putting its Spinach Power Sandwich with Mushrooms on its permanent menu. Cosi, another fast casual chain, brought back its Stuffed Portabella Bowl with hearth-roasted veggies, fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato sauce and balsamic vinaigrette with grains and Maggiano’s is promoting one of its most popular mushroom dishes.  Wendy’s continues its promotion around the Bacon-Portabella Melt and other chains are looking at adding mushrooms.


On The Horizon

The Council is supporting more LTOs, as well as new menu development.  We continue to work with chains like On the Border and Boston Pizza, as well as colleges across the country. Our work with Disney continues into the new year, and the USC recipe contest will be held later this month.



  • The Mushroom Council hosted a School Nutrition Webinar to showcase the availability and opportunity for mushrooms in the National School Lunch Program.  Over 200 School foodservice directors attended the webinar. District representatives from St Louis and Cincinnati along with members of the USDA presented during the session. The recorded presentation can be seen here.
  • The Council is planning to sponsor an innovation station at this year’s Child Nutrition Industry Conference in January 2014. The innovation station will showcase a blended burger and taco bar showcasing the potential pilot opportunity and materials available to interested districts.
  • Mushrooms have been officially added to the USDA Available Foods Catalogue for SY 2014/2015. They are listed as catalogue # – 110421. If you are interested in supplying mushrooms to the USDA for the National School Lunch Program and have questions about the Approved Vendor Process please contact Katie Preis; [email protected]. Orders for January have been placed and districts will be placing their orders for SY 2014/2015 in March to the USDA. It is imperative to be an approved vendor before March to take part in this opportunity!
  • Mushroom Council representatives exhibited at the California School Nutrition State Show sampling blending tacos and meatballs with state foodservice directors.  There are plans to attend 10 state shows in 2014.
  • Cincinnati, Baltimore, Great Valley School District, New Orleans, Houston, LA Unified and Dallas are all in the planning stages for mushroom promotions this school year.
  • An e-blast was distributed to over 7,000 school foodservice directors via the School Nutrition Association introducing the mushroom blendability concept and availability through USDA foods as well as the new website.
  • The Mushroom Council is developing 10 new recipes for school foodservice to include both blended and scratch cooked recipes.
  • Mushroom blendability advertising has been completed and will appear in the January issue of School Nutrition magazine.
  • Council School Nutrition resources can be found here.



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The Topline report week ending 11/03/13 was sent to the industry on 12/11/13; click here to access the report online.

Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy

  • After a year of flat to declining growth rates, White mushrooms posted an impressive dollar gain of +4.3% this 4 Weeks. See below for more information on this exciting turn-around.
  • Portabella mushrooms also made news this 4 Weeks with a +5.9 point jump in dollar share of the Brown segment. Portabellas now account for nearly 30% of Brown segment dollar sales and have become a significant growth driver of the Brown segment.


Total Mushrooms – 4 Weeks

  • Total U.S. Dollar sales increased +5.6%, with all Regions posting gains
  • The Plains Region led in dollar growth at +9.6%. South Central comes in second, at +7.5%
  • On a Market basis, Cincinnati/Dayton posted very strong dollar growth at +35.1% (a large gain on a smaller base). Sacramento exhibited the largest decline at -8.4%
  • Volume in pounds for the Total U.S. increased by +5.5%. Plains led with the largest Regional increase in volume at +13.6%. Only California showing a small decline at -1.1%
  • At the Market level, New York (the largest Market) showed the largest increase in volume at +33.0%


Segment/Variety – 4 Weeks

  • Total U.S. dollar sales of the White segment grew +4.3%, while Brown mushrooms grew +6.6% overall
  • Creminis showed a decline at -1.7%, while Portabellas posted strong growth, up +32.9%
  • On a Regional basis, Plains showed the largest White segment gain at +9.0%. Midsouth was the only region to show a decrease in the White segment at -4.4%
  • The Brown segment saw double digit dollar sales growth in four of eight regions with South Central leading at +24.2%. California was the only Region to decline at -5.9%
  • At the Market level, White segment dollar trends were mixed, ranging from +37.0% in Cincinnati/Dayton to a decline of -17.4% in Charlotte. Seventeen of 50 markets declined in White mushroom dollar sales. Conversely, in the Brown segment, 37 of 50 Markets posted strong gains, including Denver (+38.1%) and Houston (+37.1%)
  • Total U.S. volume in pounds for the White segment increased +4.8%, while the Brown segment saw overall volume growth of +6.1%, driven by Portabella mushrooms at +37.1%
  • On a Regional basis, the White segment delivered strong volume gains in the Plains and Northeast at +17.5% and +12.9%, respectively. Midsouth had the largest White segment volume decline at -2.9%. In the Brown segment, seven of eight Regions increased volume, with South Central leading the Regions at +22.7%. California showed the only decrease at -14.0%


Total Mushrooms – 52 Weeks

  • Total U.S. Dollar sales increased +3.1%. All regions also gained, except for the Midsouth, which was flat
  • Northeast holds the largest dollar share (20.8%) and grew +1.0% while Plains (7.0% share) led the Regions with the top dollar sales trend of +7.6%
  • Most Markets experienced dollar growth, notably Milwaukee (+18.7%), Kansas City (+9.8%), and           New Orleans/Mobile (8.7%)
  • Total U.S. mushroom volume in pounds grew +3.4%
  • Most Regions witnessed volume growth, led by Plains at +7.0% and West at +6.1%. Midsouth and South Central were flat
  • Only seven of 50 Markets saw downward volume trends, including Cleveland (-3.8%), and Harrisburg/Scranton (-2.9%)


Segment/Variety – 52 Weeks

  • Total U.S. dollar sales for the White segment were flat, with only California (+3.2%) and Plains (+2.2%) posting gains.  In the Brown segment, dollar sales were up +10.7% in Total U.S.  All Regions posted positive trends with five Regions in the double-digits
    • Brown segment trends were driven by Portabella mushrooms, which hold a 29.7% dollar share of Browns and delivered sales growth of +32.1%
  • At the Market level, dollar sales trends in the White segment varied greatly, ranging from an increase of +14.2% in Milwaukee to a -7.6% decline in Charlotte
  • The Brown segment saw very strong dollar sales gains across 44 of 50 Markets, with Cincinnati/Dayton leading at +34.0%. Hartford/Springfield showed a decline of -8.4%
  • Total U.S. volume in pounds of White mushrooms was flat, while gains were seen in California (+4.5%), Plains (+3.9%), West (+1.8%) and Northeast (+1.7%). Total U.S. volume in pounds of Brown mushrooms grew +12.2%, led by South Central, which grew volume +28.5%
    • Brown segment volume growth trends were driven by  Portabella mushrooms which have a 26.9% volume share of Browns and delivered volume growth of +36.3%
  • As with dollars, the Market level volume trends for the White segment were mixed, with 20 Markets trending upward including Milwaukee (+18.3%) and Minneapolis/St. Paul (+9.4%)
  • The volume trend of Brown mushrooms fared better, with only six Markets trending downward. San Francisco (-14.7%) and Hartford/Springfield (-7.6%) posted the largest losses
    • Strong volume increases in the Brown segment occurred in these Markets: West Tex/New Mexico (+39.5%), Milwaukee (+36.8%) and New Orleans/Mobile (+36.5%)


Industry Tools

  • The Market Insights Retail Sales Tool is now available and the Updated Blueprint for Profit will be available for use this fall.


Marketing Summary

  • Communications surrounding mushroom foodservice promotions was shared with the Packer for the January Mushroom Marketing Issue.
  • Mushroom marketing update was shared with Produce Business for the January Issue.
  • A press release on mushrooms in foodservice and Swap It Or Top It Retail Display contest will be shared with the trade press in December.

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