Monthly Shipping Report | February 2014
- A call for nominations for 3-year terms beginning January 1, 2015 has been mailed. The regions with a position opening up are Region 1; all states except CA & PA (one position), Region 2; PA (one position) and Region 4; Importer (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 Cheryl@mushroomcouncil.org 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 Exempt producers must apply each year for exemption; 2013 exemption numbers are no longer valid and a new numbers are needed for 2014.
- Retail Sales Tool Industry Webinar
Date: Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Time: 3:00 PM – 12:00 PM EST
To Register: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/619079326 – After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar
Webinar ID: 619-079-326
To see current charts click here.
Mushroom Council Marketing Summary – January 2014
- January consumer media highlights feature mushrooms in articles about Blendability, Swapability, vitamin D, weight management and immunity. Click on the links below to view the full stories.
- The Sunshine Substitute, Men’s Health, February 2014
- Healthy Upgrade: mmm!, Prevention, February 2014
- Full plate, half the calories, Cooking Light, January/February 2014
- Go Lean with Mushrooms, Taste for Life, January 2014
- How To Make A Burger Healthier, The Daily Meal, 1/29
- 10 Foods to boost your vitamin D, The Oregonian (Portland, OR), 1/28
- 9 Ways to Use Portobello Mushrooms, Food & Wine, 1/27
- Eat a Full Plate…With Half the Calories, TODAY show, 1/22
- Easy dinner recipes: Hearty mushroom ideas for Meatless Monday, Los Angeles Times, 1/20
- Easy Ways To Add More Meatless Meals To 2014, Fruits & Veggies More Matters, 1/13
- Superfood For Good Health: Mushrooms, Foodista, 1/9
- 2 Strategies for Healthier Food Choices in 2014, PARADE, 1/8
- 14 Ways to Cut Portions Without Feeling Hungry, Health, 1/8
- 9 Ways to Help Avoid Vitamin D Deficiency, Livestrong, 1/7
- Healthful recipe ideas from a Top Chef, The Daily Herald (Everett, WA), 1/7
- Mushrooms substituted for meat? This new weight management trick is proven to help cut calories, Daily Meal, 1/1
- Helpful Health Benefits of Mushrooms: Vitamin D, EatingWell, 1/1
- 16 Restaurant Dishes Made Light: Cremini Mushroom Meat Loaf, Cooking Light, 1/1
- The stage has been set for 2014 as the year to make over meals with mushrooms. In mid-January, The Trend to Blend crossed national airways when well-known registered dietitian Frances Largeman-Roth demonstrated a Blendability meat loaf recipe on the TODAY show. The Cremini Mushroom Meat Loaf recipe came from a spread in Cooking Light magazine’s January issue, titled “Start Your Year Off Light.” The segment demonstrated Blendability from start to finish:
- Noting how “cremini mushrooms are replacing half the beef”
- Showing how to “chop them [mushrooms] up real fine”
- Celebrating that this technique “brings down calorie count significantly” without compromising taste because “mushrooms add a savory flavor, so we’re not losing flavor to reduce calories”
- This placement is an example of how the programs in the Council’s integrated PR plan work together to achieve the end goal of reaching consumers(and influencers/partners) and educating them about the health and culinary benefits of mushrooms.
- Sharing on Council social channels, cross promotion from the TODAY show, Cooking Light and Frances Largeman-Roth as well organic conversation contributed to more than 3.5 million impressions across Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
- The Council provided paid support to a post featuring the segment on Facebook, making it one of the top performing Facebook posts in January, with 1,119 likes, 26 shares and 9 comments.
— FrancesLargeman-Roth (@FrancesLRothRD) January 22, 2014
— Cooking Light (@Cooking_Light) January 22, 2014
All the flavor, half the calories! Lighter versions of meatloaf, chicken parm and more: http://t.co/MT7daQJQtF
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 22, 2014
- The Mushrooms and Health Summit in 2013 provided comprehensive education for key thought leaders and served as a critical springboard for further research and communications. The Council is taking advantage of opportunities revealed from the Summit to inspire action by the science community and propel momentum into 2014 and beyond. The following initiatives will increase awareness and education, drive news, reach more people and increase frequency of key Council message delivery:
- Summit Proceedings Document. Submit a manuscript from 18 authors who spoke at the Summit to be published in the Journal of Nutrition.
- Food 3000. Host a mushroom educational session at Food 3000 for the nation’s preeminent food and nutrition media influencers.
- University Tours. Conduct university “educational tours” to inform top researchers and leading academic institutions of opportunities to drive forward their research goals with mushrooms.
- Experimental Biology. Expand presence at Experimental Biology 2014 by hosting exhibit booth space to educate on mushrooms as a research food.
- Sports Nutrition. Introduce mushrooms to sports nutrition professionals who have a vested interest in health outcomes related to weight management, vitamin D, anti-inflammatory properties and immunity.
- Food scientists. Work with food scientists (and students/researchers at leading universities) to optimize Blendability products. Consider session or event at the IFT annual meeting to demonstrate current and discuss future mushroom innovation.
- The Council continued paid support of Facebook posts highlighting key messages and linking to additional platforms such as the Mushroom Channel blog. A total spend of $1,331 divided between four posts resulted in 1,412,305 impressions and 9,805 clicks.
- For comparison, paid support of a Facebook post promoting a Mushroom Channel blog recipe received 33% more page views compared to a Facebook post for another blog recipe that did not receive paid support.
PAID SUPPORT: This blog post received 2,322 page views in January.
ORGANIC: This post received 1,734 page views in January.
- As a way to extend the Council’s Swapability platform and relationship with Meatless Mondays, the Council launched Mushroom Mondays at the start of 2014. Through a weekly distributed e-newsletter, Facebook tab and Pinterest board, Mushroom Mondays provide increased opportunities for the Council to engage with the Meatless Monday/vegetarian/and Flexitarian communities while gaining increased exposure of mushrooms among these audiences.
- The latest Mushroom Monday e-newsletter went out to 411 subscribers.
- Monthly Mushroom Monday Facebook posts reached almost 50,000 people and generated a total of 1,555 likes and 868 shares.
- To date, the featured Mushroom Monday Pinterest board has 2,845 followers and 50 repins.
- The Council is pleased to announce the 2014 Mushroom Channel Blogger Ambassadors, featuring four from the previous year and three new members stemming from Council online and offline relationships. Selected ambassadors excel in sharing creative recipes and high quality photography, promote mushrooms on social media platforms and drive referral traffic to Mushroominfo.com. A blog post introducing the 2014 ambassadors can be found here.
- The Council participated in three Twitter parties in January to join conversations with registered dietitians, consumers and partners like PBH. Parties hosted by Fruits and Veggies More Matters (PBH), Bonnie Taub-Dix (@eatsmartbd) and @EmpowHER (a social health network empowering women) gave the Council an opportunity to share mushroom key messages with other participants. These Twitter parties reached 483 unique participants and attracted 113 new Twitter followers.
- During January, the Mushroom Channel highlighted 12 Council foodservice promotions including Cheesecake Factory, Au Bon Pain, Noodles and Company, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Stir Crazy Fresh Asian Grill, Houlihans, Rockit Bar and Grill, California Pizza Kitchen, Applebee’s, Maggiano’s, Cracker Barrel and Seasons 52. Twitter has become a key social channel for the Council to amplify foodservice promotions and connect with top chains on an ongoing basis.
— Mushroom Council (@MushroomChannel) February 4, 2014
- Capitalizing on the popularity of appetizers served during the Big Game, the Mushroom Channel created a “Game Day Ready with Mushrooms” Pinterest board to inspire users to share and make mushroom recipes for the big game. Within the month, the board accumulated 2,785 followers and 261 board interactions. Creating seasonal boards such as this one allows the Council to refresh archived recipes and highlight them within a timely consumer trend on Pinterest.
- Search Engine Marketing drove approximately 13% of total visits to MushroomInfo.com.
- Top performing keywords included “mushroom recipe,” “stuffed mushrooms,” “vitamin D foods,” and “mushroom soup.”
- The Council is refreshing the Search campaign in February to apply new food trends and drive traffic to new Blendability recipes such as comfort-food favorite meatloaf.
- The Mushroom Channel published nine blog posts in January including new seasonal recipes by 2014 blogger contributors. The two top posts received a total of 4,056 page views. The most visited posts included: Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce, Portabella and Halloumi “Burgers” from Food for My Family, and Savory Mushroom Tart. Click here to read all January posts.
For more detailed social analytics download the NEW Social Analytics Report here.
On the Horizon
- From February 14– 18, the Council attended Food 3000, reconvening key presenters from the Mushrooms and Health Summit to deliver a 90-minute session on the health, culinary and environmental benefits of mushrooms to the nation’s premier nutrition media/food influencers.
- During National Nutrition Month in March, the Council is partnering with the Mamavation network (an online weight loss support network for moms in social media) to engage participating bloggers in a Mushroom Meal Makeover Campaign to highlight mushrooms role in weight management.
- The Council will attend the Culinary Institute of America’s Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives conference in Napa California (March 13-16) to engage and create ambassadors among a new audience of influencers in the health and wellness sectors.
- The Council will be attending and exhibiting at the third annual Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) Building A Healthier Future Summit on childhood obesity (March 12-14).
The year started off with imminent promotions at a variety of colleges around the country. Over the next several months, Mushroom Mania will invade some of the most influential colleges including UMASS, which was named by Princeton Review as the top foodservice program among all colleges and universities. Blendability, global cuisine and meatless are the stars of most of these promotions.
USC got a head start as we helped them develop and create Mushroomapalooza, which lasted a week and showcased more than 30 new mushroom recipes and educational and nutritional information for the students. The promotion actually started in mid-December as the Council hosted a mushroom recipe contest among the USC chefs.
These recipes and more were then used in Mushroomapalooza, which was celebrated in a major dining hall, their farmer’s market and seven other eating venues. Café 84 featured not only a number of mushroom dishes every night, but also a sauté station staffed by the Mushroom Council featuring a wide array of fresh, cultivated mushrooms and educational information.
Students waited patiently at Cafe 84′s sauté station for their fill of simple sautéed mushrooms; a medley that consisted of shiitake, crimini, maitake, and beech mushrooms. Mushroom pizza, risotto, salad, and soup were just some of the mouth-watering mushroom filled items that made an appearance on the cafeteria’s menu for the week.
Cafe 84, along with several other campus restaurants including McKay’s, The Lab Gastropub, Morton Fig, Lemonade, Seeds, and Traditions celebrated Mushroomapalooza by serving up fresh mushrooms in everything from mushroom & spinach crepes to crispy tempura oyster mushrooms to blendable burgers.
The students weren’t the only ones excited by the appearance of mushrooms, USC chefs showed some excitement too; “I love what you can do with all the different varieties of mushrooms. I wanted to create dishes that were unique but still familiar – soup, flatbread, pot pie, tacos, these are all familiar pub dishes,” says Chef Joe Ledesma, who was thrilled to take part in the festivities. Chef Mikery Hatfield, Executive Chef at McKay’s, also had a great time coming up with their mushroom menu, “there are so many ways to menu mushrooms, but I wanted to really feature one new dish every day.” At the USC Weekly Farmer’s Market, the Council worked with USC Executive Eric Ernest to serve Chicken & Mushroom Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Smoked Shiitake, Kale, & Spelt Salad.
USC and the Council used every platform available to promote Mushroomapalooza. Students received free T-shirts if they took a “selfie” around a mushroom exhibit. “Shirts for Selfies” turned out to be a big hit, with USC running out of commemorative T-shirts.
Facebook and social media played a critical role as well in the promotion. Check out USC’s Facebook page to see a number of the posts including USC’s/The Mushroom Council’s “Mushroom of the Day” entry. Traditional media was also used, as Mushroomapalooza made the front page of the “Trojan”
The Council has already developed a blog post on the promotion and will develop a case history for the industry.
Along with the USC promotion and the other upcoming college promotions, the Mushroom Council also met with Disney and scheduled a menu development session to introduce their Orlando chefs to blendability. The Council is working with Darden, Black Angus, Boston Pizza, CPK and other chains to launch mushroom dishes and supporting promotions.
On The Horizon
More promotions are upcoming, as are menu development sessions with a number of chains. Most will result in new sales materials and case histories. The Council has upcoming presentations on blendability at Menu Directions conference as well as Research Chef’s Association’s annual meeting.
SCHOOL NUTRITION SUMMARY
- Mushroom Council presented an innovation station at the School Nutrition Association’s Child Nutrition Industry Conference. During the Innovation Station the Council presented a 30 minute presentation to over 60 of the top foodservice directors. During the presentation foodservice directors enjoyed mushroom blended tacos and burgers.
- Mushroom Council began advertising in School Nutrition Magazine and on the School Nutrition Website to grow demand for USDA mushrooms and Fresh mushrooms in the National School Lunch Program before the busy March ordering period.
- An industry webinar was presented sharing new resources and tools to grow demand for mushrooms in schools with the mushroom industry on January 31st.
- Council representatives plan to exhibit at the vendor showcase luncheon for the School Food Focus in February.
- Council School Nutrition resources can be found here.
The Topline report week ending 12/29/13 was sent to the industry on 2/10/14; click here to access the report online.
Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy
- The 4 week dollar growth rate (+4.4%) for total mushrooms continued to outpace the 52 week dollar growth rate (+3.9%) in Total U.S. See below for more information on this category trend
- White mushrooms posted a third consecutive positive dollar gain during the current 4 week period at +1.9%
Total Mushrooms – 4 Weeks
- The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +4.4% lagged Total Produce’s growth trend (+4.7%) by -0.3 point
- The South Central Region led in dollar growth rate at +10.4%. West came in second, at +6.6%
- On a Market basis, Salt Lake City posted very strong dollar growth at +29.5% (a large gain on a smaller base). Only four Markets posted declines including Philadelphia at -4.7%
- Volume in pounds for the Total U.S. increased by +3.0%. Southeast led with the largest Regional increase in volume at +5.9%. California posted the only decrease, at -1.9%
- At the Market level, Salt Lake City showed the largest increase in volume at +24.7%
Segment/Variety – 4 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales of the White segment grew +1.9%, while Brown mushrooms grew +8.4% overall
- Creminis showed an increase at +1.6%, while Portabellas posted strong growth, up +31.0%
- On a Regional basis, Southeast showed the largest White segment gain at +7.4%. Midsouth was the only region to post a decline, at -1.9%
- The Brown segment saw double-digit dollar sales growth in five of eight Regions with South Central leading at +22.8%. California was the only Region to decline at -3.0%
- At the Market level, White segment dollar trends were generally positive with 33 of 50 Markets posting gains. Salt Lake City posted the largest gain at +25.5%, while Philadelphia posted the largest decrease at -8.8%. Similarly, in the Brown segment, 43 of 50 Markets posted strong gains, including Salt Lake City (+42.0%) and Denver (+34.9%)
- Total U.S. volume in pounds for the White segment increased +1.0%, while the Brown segment saw overall volume growth of +7.6%, driven by Portabella mushrooms at +38.8%
- On a Regional basis, the White segment delivered strong volume gains in the Southeast at +9.1%, while California posted the largest White segment volume decline at -2.9%
- In the Brown segment, South Central led Regional volume growth at +15.7%. California showed the largest decrease at -5.5%
Total Mushrooms – 52 Weeks
- The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +3.9% lagged Total Produce’s growth trend of +8.0% by -4.1 points
- While six Regions posted gains, Midsouth and Northeast were flat
- Plains (7.0% dollar share) led the Regions with the top dollar sales trend of +8.9%, while Northeast holds the largest dollar share (20.7%)
- Most Markets experienced dollar growth, notably Milwaukee (+18.4%), Omaha (+13.1%), and Cincinnati/Dayton (+12.3%)
- Total U.S. mushroom volume in pounds grew +3.9%
- Most Regions delivered volume growth, led by Plains at +8.0% and West at +6.4%. Midsouth was flat
- Only ten of 50 Markets saw downward volume trends, including Harrisburg/Scranton and Cleveland, both down -3.1%
Segment/Variety – 52 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales for the White segment were flat, with Midsouth (-4.2%) and South Central (-1.1%) posting losses. In the Brown segment, dollar sales were up +9.9% in Total U.S. Six Regions posted positive trends with five Regions in the double-digits
- Brown segment dollar trends were driven by Portabella mushrooms, which hold a 30.5% dollar share of Browns and delivered sales growth of +33.2%
- At the Market level, dollar sales trends in the White segment varied, ranging from an increase of +15.5% in Milwaukee to a -7.5% decline in Raleigh/Greensboro
- The Brown segment saw very strong dollar sales gains across 43 of 50 Markets, with Denver leading at +36.0%. Hartford/Springfield showed a decline of -9.3%
- Total U.S. volume in pounds of White mushrooms grew +1.4%, with gains seen in Plains (+5.8%), California (+3.5%), West (+2.8%), Northeast (+2.7%) and Southeast (+1.8%). Total U.S. volume in pounds of Brown mushrooms grew +10.6%, led by South Central, with growth of +26.1%
- Brown segment volume growth trends were driven by Portabella mushrooms which have a 27.9% volume share of Browns and delivered volume growth of +37.8%
- As with dollars, the Market level volume trends for the White segment were mixed, with 29 Markets trending upward including Milwaukee (+18.0%) and Minneapolis/St. Paul (+9.7%)
- The volume trend of Brown mushrooms fared better, with only six Markets trending downward. San Francisco (-16.1%) and Sacramento (-10.2%) posted the largest losses
- Strong volume growth in the Brown segment occurred in these Markets: Salt Lake City (+32.5%), New Orleans/Mobile (+31.8%) and Dallas/Ft. Worth (+31.7%)
- Blue Print for Profit:
- The Market Insights Retail Sales Tool and Updated Blueprint for Profit are now available for use. The information can be found here.
- Swap It or Top It Retail Display Contest:
- Information was shared with the industry on February 19, 2014. Materials for the contest can be found here.
- An industry webinar will take place Monday February 24th to demonstrate contest tools to the industry. See the Council Update Section of this report for registration information.
- The Mushroom Marketing section appeared in the January issue of the Packer.
- Mad for Mushroomsappeared in the January Issue of Progressive Grocer.