Monthly Shipping Report | February 2015
- The next Council meeting is May 13-14 in Nashville, TN. If you plan on attending, please email Cheryl@mushroomcouncil.org so we can make sure you are accommodated.
- Nominations: A call for nominations for 3-year terms beginning January 1, 2016 was mailed on February 2, 2015. Regions with a position opening up are Region 2; PA (two positions) and Region 3 (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 February issue of Mushrooms and Health Global Initiative Bulletin can be viewed here.
To see current charts click here.
Mushroom Council Marketing Summary –January 2015
- More flavor, less guilt, Prevention, January 2015
- Superfoods: Marketing Magic or Produce Pretenders?, Produce Business, January 2015
- 10 cooking, shopping trends to watch in 2015, Orlando Sentinel, 1/1
- Edible Fungi, National Culinary Review, 1/1
- 10 Superfoods to Add to Your Diet, Yahoo!, 1/5
- Mushrooms on the Big Game snack line? Yes, deliciously so!, The Arizona Star, 1/7
- Healthier Big Game fare: Stuffed mushrooms with a kick, Denver Post, 1/13
- Mushrooms on the Big Game snack line? Yes, deliciously so, Colorado Gazette, 1/13
- 6 foods to boost your immune system, FOX News, 1/10
- “Eat to Live,” Live with Kelly and Michael, 1/13
- Fighting flu starts with what you eat, Atlanta-Journal Constitution, 1/14
- The New Wave of Superfoods, SHAPE, 1/14
- Mushroom Council makes a big push to increase blending, The Packer, 1/16
- Plant-rich diet enhances body’s antioxidant benefits, Buffalo News, 1/17
- Fran Benedict: Shiitakes are pure mushroom magic, The Tennessean, 1/19
- Mushroom Market Worth $50,034.12 Million by 2019, Yahoo!, 1/22
- Environmental Nutrition: Mushrooms are rich in unique nutrients, flavor and health potential, Chicago Tribune, 1/22
- Organic mushroom sales continue to rise at a nice rate for Giorgio Fresh, Produce News, 1/27
- Mushrooms are rich in nutrients and meat flavor, Tribune Review, 1/28
- January 2015 was the strongest January media month on record with 271M impressions (3x last year’s results) with a phenomenal ode to mushrooms in an AP story by Food Network star, Melissa D’Arabian, which has been picked up in more than 50 outlets.
- The Blended Burger made a huge splash with the top media producers in New York City. Over 150 meat and mushroom blended sliders were hand delivered in January over two days to more than 55 editors, writers and producers identified as the top media outlets responsible for the various “Best Burger” lists. Chef Jehangir assisted the team by creating a slider trio– featuring his Graffiti Burger, Chef Linton Hopkins’ Roasted Burger Blend, and a turkey blend burger. Once everyone had the chance to enjoy the blend burgers, the media representatives received blend resources including chefs’ leads, RD leads, recipes, photography and videos. Editors from Rachel Ray, Daily Meal, Health and Shape magazine among others were very enthusiastic about incorporating the blend into their editorial calendars.
- Produced new consumer, media-friendly blend (how-to) videos on YouTube; view here.
- The Mushroom Channel engaged with four foodservice partners including Olive Garden, Shake Shack and CIA.
- Two, promoted Facebook posts included content supported blend tacos and foodservice promotions with Olive Garden, all related to food trends.
- Reached 193K+ people and resulted in 10.9K+ likes, 1.5k+ shares, 1.2k+ link clicks and resulted in 0.11 cost per like and $1.91 cost per every 1K engagements
- Mushroom Channel published one blogger recipe with 3.1K+ page views that accounted for 11 percent of all website referral traffic in January.
- Search ad words accounted for 12 percent of total visits in January. Top performing paid keywords included: mushroom recipes, stuffed mushrooms and vitamin D foods.
With the New Year begins a new chapter in the Council’s approach to retail. The Council will now be actively engaging with retail organizations with the goal of launching the Blend in a number of their stores. The Council will also work to understand the opportunities (and challenges) of launching the Blend at retail. The longer-term goal is to persuade retailers to bring Blend products and information into in all of their store locations.
- Currently in progress is the development of the retail program including sales information and deck, program outline and materials. A summary of the program’s benefits, value, opportunities and related support was distributed to Wakefern/ShopRite personnel for their January meeting.
- To support the new retail program the Council is preparing a new micro-site (MushroomsAtRetail.com) dedicated to retail. The site is designed to provide retailers with quick and easy access to all Blend related information including the retail-value of launching the Blend in their stores, Council support programs and FAQ’s. The site will also be useful to shippers looking for information about the Blend at retail. The site will launch in late March.
- The Council is currently preparing to sponsor the Oldways Supermarket RD Symposium in Florida. The Symposium will take place in March of this year. The Council will prepare a presentation focused around the retail and consumer benefits of the Blend. Attendees will be treated to a Blend lunch so they can fully enjoy the flavor while learning about its benefits. A new Council SRD Toolkit highlighting nutrition information, key benefits and “how-to” guide for the Blend will also be made available to attendees. Find out more about the Symposium here.
- Marketing cross-promotion is another attribute added to the retail program this year. The Council will be identifying, targeting and reaching-out for potential mushroom and Blend promotional opportunities with food and produce companies and organizations.
For more detailed social analytics download the NEW Social Analytics Report here.
From colleges to chains, mushrooms were the star on menus while the Blend continued to be promoted as one of the top trends of the year.
University of Southern California: Mushroomapalooza 2.0 hit the University of Southern California the week of February 9. Again starting with a chef culinary challenge, the campus totally turned its attention to mushrooms. Every dining hall had new mushroom features, and one featured 15 different mushroom dishes to kick off the promotion. Throughout the week, retail establishments including their fast casual restaurant, their upscale restaurant, their vegetarian/healthy restaurant, their Gastropub and others featured mushroom dishes, including the Blend. One of the favorites was a Portabella Corn Dog. At their midweek Farmer’s Market, USC Hospitality and the Council served Israeli Couscous with Shiitake Mushrooms and a Kale, Kumquat and Mushroom Salad and students received free T-shirts if they took their photo with the student in a mushroom costume and posted it to social media.
Other Colleges: Over the next month, promotions will be running at Chartwell’s, Oklahoma State University, and Penn State University, all with a special emphasis on The Blend.
Johnson & Wales Results: The Blend
Late last year, The Mushroom Council was invited to Johnson & Wales, one of the top culinary schools in the U.S., on behalf of Research Chefs Association to speak about The Blend. As part of the program, the Council hosted a recipe contest among the students, and RCA members judged the entries. This month the winners were announced. Here are the dishes that were recognized:
- Forest Fire Chili which blended shiitakes and white button mushrooms with ground beef, kale, jalapenos, pine nuts and sweet apple cider
- Argentinian Empanada with ground turkey blended with crimini mushrooms, Spanish onions, bell peppers and russet potatoes in a flaky dough empanada
- Sassy Salmon Patty which used ground salmon and white button mushrooms, green bell peppers, white onions and Dijon mustard in a burger format
- Lamb and Portabella Mushroom Sausage with Chicken-Infused Orzo which blended lamb leg and portabellas with lamb stock, lamb fat, turmeric and tarragon in a sausage over orzo
- Lamb and Mushroom Sausage with lamb blended with shiitake, beech and King Trumpet mushrooms with ginger and Dijon mustard. Also included were pickled mushroom caps and cranberry reduction
Chain Restaurants Update: Chains continued to feature mushrooms in new dishes. Firebirds Wood-Fire Grill introduced a Blended Beef and Mushroom Burger onto menus across the country in their Winter Lites Menu. Panera, which re-introduced mushrooms for the first time a year and a half ago, now is featuring a line of Soba Noodle Bowls. The Soba with Chicken and Mushroom includes soba buckwheat noodles, anti-biotic-free chicken, fresh spinach, napa cabbage, roasted mushrooms and onions, sesame seeds in a soy-miso broth. With Soba and Edamame, Panera uses the same broth and noodles, but adds an edamame blend with mushrooms and onions. The bowls weigh in at 390 and 370 calories with low fat content.
Atlanta RCA: The Council was also invited to speak to poultry manufacturers as part of a Southeast Research Chefs Association meeting. The meeting was the night before the International Poultry Production & Processing Expo, the largest poultry show in the U.S. The Council presented information about The Blend while serving burgers, meatballs and sausage.
SCHOOL FOODSERVICE SUMMARY
- A blend pilot is planned for Portland Public Schools to test the blend burger, blend pasta and mushroom pizza for the week of March 16th. Blend burger testing is being planned for Washington D.C. it was postponed from February 10th-11th for April. 45 schools in Philadelphia received mushroom farm to school posters, salad bar clings and recipes for a mushroom farm to school promotion in March. A mushroom blend promo is being planned in San Diego to promote farm to school mushrooms this spring. Council reps are working on a spring mushroom blend promotion in the Cypress-Fairbanks (Houston) district for the spring.
- Council representatives are planning for a blend test in Washington D.C. with Chartwells. Meetings have been planned for a partnership with Sodexo to utilize the Sesame Street characters in their school nutrition program.
- The Council partnered with JTM in the CSI Virtual Trade show to promote samples of the blended burgers. A Council representative is speaking at the JTM Clean Label summit on the benefits of blending for an audience of many major districts in March. There are plans to meet with Advance Pierre to plan marketing support for their blend line launch at this year’s Annual National Conference for the School Nutrition Association
- Council highlighted a mushroom farm to school story in the February Mushrooms in Schools newsletter. The Farm to School tool kit is currently being developed.
- All phases from the Johns Hopkins test of the mushroom blend in Baltimore City Public Schools are complete. Results are expected within the month.
- Council School Nutrition resources can be found here.
Supermarket RD Update
- Began Oldways Supermarket Dietitian Symposium meetings to develop strategies, tactics and messages for conference participants. Council is a Symposium sponsor. Kara will present on the Blend and pilot program (deck in development) and attendees will be provided a Blend-focused lunch. Kara and Steven will attend the conference in March. Retail dietitian toolkit in development for launch at Oldways.
- The Big Blend Theory – Progressive Grocer
- Marketing Mushrooms: Beyond Blendability – Produce Business, page 61
The Topline report week ending 12/28/14 was sent to the industry on 2/9/15; click here to access the report online.
Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy
Total Mushrooms – 4 Weeks
- The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +0.9% lagged Total Produce’s growth of +3.7% by -2.8 points
- California led in dollar growth rate at +5.4%; Great Lakes posted the largest decline at -6.3%
- On a Market basis, Albany posted strong dollar growth of +11.8%. Chicago posted the largest decline, down -27.0%
- Total U.S. Organic dollar sales grew +2.8%, driven by California (+74.0%) which holds an 18.7% share of total Organic dollars
- Volume in pounds for Total U.S. increased +1.6% and California led the Regions with a volume increase of +8.2%. Plains volume declined -8.7%
- At the Market level, Grand Rapids showed the largest volume increase at +26.8%
- Total Organic volume grew +13.5%. Organic volume increased +96.8% in California which holds a 13.5% share of total Organic volume
Segment/Variety – 4 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales of the White segment declined -2.0%, while Brown mushrooms exhibited growth of +4.9%
- Cremini mushrooms grew dollar sales +5.0% and Portabellas increased +4.8%
- On a Regional basis, White mushroom dollar sales were up in Midsouth (+7.4%) and California (+2.5%)
- Brown mushrooms posted growth in five of eight regions. Midsouth dollars declined -7.9%, while dollars in Southeast grew +16.1%
- White segment dollars were down in 25 of 49 Markets with results ranging from an increase of +16.6% in Raleigh/Greensboro to a decline of -40.6% in Chicago. In the Brown segment, 36 of 49 Markets posted strong gains, including Tampa (+28.9%), Philadelphia (+20.5%) and Detroit (+17.9%)
- Total U.S. volume in pounds for the White segment declined -2.7%, while the Brown segment saw overall volume growth of +11.9%, driven by Cremini mushrooms, up +14.5%
- In the Brown segment, Southeast led Regional volume growth at +34.0%. Midsouth declined -7.9%
Total Mushrooms – 52 Weeks
- The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +2.7% lagged Total Produce’s growth trend of +4.1% by -1.4 points
- Midsouth (10.8% dollar share) led the Regions with the top dollar sales trend of +4.7%. Northeast holds the largest dollar share (20.7%), but grew only +2.3%. All Regions posted gains
- Most Markets experienced dollar growth, notably Omaha (+9.0%), Houston (+8.1%) and Philadelphia (+6.5%)
- Total U.S. Organic dollar sales grew +24.0%, driven by California (+53.9%) which holds a 13.1% share of total Organic dollars
- Total U.S. mushroom volume in pounds grew +2.1%
- Seven of eight Regions delivered volume growth, led by Midsouth at +5.2%. Plains declined -2.3%
- Only ten of 49 Markets saw downward volume trends, including Milwaukee (-4.3%) and Pittsburgh (-3.8%)
- Organic volume increased +22.7%, driven by California (+67.6%) which holds a 9.7% share of total Organic volume
Segment/Variety – 52 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales for the White segment were flat, while Midsouth (+3.5%), California (+2.9%), and South Central (+2.4%) posted the only gains. In the Brown segment, Total U.S. dollar sales were up +6.3%
- In the Brown segment, all Regions posted positive trends
- Total U.S. Brown segment dollar trends were driven by Portabella mushrooms, which hold a 32.6% dollar share of Browns and delivered sales growth of +13.9%
- At the Market level, dollar sales trends in the White segment ranged from an increase of +9.2% in Sacramento to a -6.8% decline in Jacksonville
- The Brown segment saw very strong dollar sales gains across 46 of 49 Markets, with Denver leading at +14.4%. Sacramento showed the largest decline of -13.6%
- Total U.S. volume in pounds of White mushrooms was flat, but growth was seen in Midsouth (+3.5%) and California (+2.0%)
- Total U.S. volume in pounds of Brown mushrooms grew +8.3%, led by Great Lakes and Southeast, both with growth of +11.3%
- Total U.S. Brown segment volume growth trends were driven by Portabella mushrooms which have a 30.8% volume share of Browns and delivered volume growth of +20.0%
- As with dollars, the Market level volume trends for the White segment were mixed, with 12 Markets trending upward including Charlotte (+15.4%) and Raleigh/Greensboro (+9.8%)
- The volume trend of Brown mushrooms fared better, with only Sacramento (-13.4%), Buffalo/Rochester (-6.6%) and Pittsburgh (-1.0%) trending downward.
- Strong volume growth in the Brown segment occurred in these Markets: Philadelphia (+22.1%), Detroit (+20.8%) and Grand Rapids (+20.7%)