Monthly Shipping Report | February 2016
- The Council office has moved! Our new address is 303 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 600, Redwood Shores, CA 94065; (650) 632-4250.
- The next Council meeting is July 12-13, 2016 in Minneapolis, MN. If you plan on attending, please email Cheryl@mushroomcouncil.org so we can make sure you are accommodated.
- Regional Meetings:
- CA: Tuesday, February 23 – Hilton Garden Inn, Gilroy
- PA: Thursday, February 25 – Hilton Garden Inn, Kennett Square
- Webinar: February 25
- Exemption Applications for 2016, as a courtesy, were mailed to those producers who are currently exempt. If you did not receive an application and believe you may be exempt email email@example.com.
- Nominations for the 2017 open Council positions were mailed on February 1, 2016. Positions opening up are Region 1 (one position) Region 2; PA (one position) and Region 3 (one position). Please consider being a part of the Council.
- USDA encourages all eligible producers including women, minorities and individuals with disabilities to participate in the nominations and seek nomination to serve on the Council.
Mushroom Council Marketing Summary – January 2016
Mushrooms appeared in a variety of regional and national lifestyle, business and trade outlets with articles highlighting growing mushroom sales, the nutritional benefits of mushrooms and noted as a simple solution to sodium and saturated fat reduction in consumer’s diets, adding mushrooms to burgers to cut down on red meat consumption, as well as some delicious mushroom focused recipes for at-home cooking.
Please see below for a snapshot of links to print and online coverage:
|1/31/2016||CHICAGO SUN-TIMES||Don’t forget healthy options at your party|
|1/31/2016||TRIBUNE-REVIEW (VALLEY NEWS DISPATCH EDITION)||Two for two: Wow your valentine with these indulgent pasta dishes|
|1/31/2016||TRIBUNE-REVIEW (WESTMORELAND EDITION)||Wow your valentine with indulgent pasta dishes|
|1/31/2016||SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE||11 super dips for game day|
|1/27/2016||TIMES||WHERE TO FIND THE BEST VEGETARIAN FOOD|
|1/27/2016||CHICAGO SUN-TIMES||Beef Pepper And Mushroom Kebabs|
|1/27/2016||WASHINGTON POST||Why reach for a can? Make your own soup concentrate.|
|1/27/2016||AKRON BEACON JOURNAL||SMALLER BURGERS ARE SUPER FOR PARTY|
|1/1/2016||CONSUMER REPORTS ON HEALTH||The Benefits of a Semi-Vegetarian Diet|
|1/1/2016||GOOD HOUSEKEEPING||PIZZA party|
|1/1/2016||MARTHA STEWART WEDDINGS||COUNTDOWN TO GORGEOUS|
|1/1/2016||FAMILY CIRCLE MAGAZINE||HEALTHY FAMILY DINNERS|
|1/1/2016||TODAY’S DIETITIAN||MENUS of CHANGE|
|1/1/2016||GOOD HOUSEKEEPING||EAT LIKE A VIKING|
|1/1/2016||GOOD HOUSEKEEPING||Decadent VEGETARIAN|
|1/1/2016||REAL SIMPLE||EASY DINNER|
|1/1/2016||FOOD & WINE||Mastering My Mistakes|
|1/1/2016||BON APPETIT||JAPANESE HOME COOKING|
|1/1/2016||BETTER NUTRITION||Fantastic Fungi|
|1/1/2016||MARTHA STEWART LIVING||LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED|
|1/1/2016||BON APPETIT||IN DEFENSE OF SIMPLE FOOD|
Social & Digital
The Mushroom Channel published four blog posts that garnered 441 page views and accounted for .37% of all website referral traffic in January.
- Recipes to Keep your Resolutions on Track
- Enoki Mushroom Stir-Fry
- The Blend: Your New Year’s Resolution Solution
- Combat the Cold with Johnny Rockets’ New Portobello Chicken Sandwich
For more detailed social analytics download the Social Analytics Report here.
- Live “Eat & Tweet” at Johnny Rockets to promote the LTO Portobello Chicken Sandwich (February)
- National Nutrition Month Pinterest Promotion (March)
James Beard Foundation Promotion
We have kicked off the year planning for our second annual Blended Burger Project campaign. Again, this year, our major partner will be James Beard Foundation with is the preeminent chef organization with substantial outreach and credibility. We are planning a lot more local events in major markets and more media opportunities our roll up to the promotion which again will kick-off on Memorial Day. We will also have other promotional partners like Plate Magazine, Chefs Collaborative and the Culinary Institute of America.
We will be working with several of the top chefs in America to help us promote The Blend and the contest. Many are our past partners, and we will be introducing new partners and spokeschefs, including some of last year’s winners.
Culinary Institute of America Programs
This January we participated in several different CIA programs including a new collaboration of supermarket deli chefs. Worlds of Healthy Flavors, which is a tie-in with Harvard Nutrition Policy featured a number of Blend items served on the menu. For Healthy Menus Collaborative, which is the group of major chains developing best practices around more nutritious menus, the Council was part of four presentations—Chain Strategies to Meet Consumer Demands in Reducing Meat, Pizza Hut’s case history introducing their Blended meatballs, Umami using The Blend and a Harvard case history of introducing The Blend. The Council is working on the next CIA program where we will be presenting The Blend to an audience of hotels, cruise lines and other luxury operators.
Colleges and Universities
The Council has been invited to give a flash talk on the Blend at this year’s Menu Directions which has invited 350 non-commercial operators to attend. Besides presenting, we will be serving the burger which won the Burger Segment at last year’s World Championship of Food as well as other items. Participants in the Culinary Competition will be asked to develop their version of The Blend.
The Council will also be presenting and demoing the Blend at The Southern Region NACUFS conference which includes colleges and universities from Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. While there are a number of universities menuing the Blend like Auburn University, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State, this is an enormous opportunity to penetrate a new region.
The Council has pilots going on with two major chains with the Blend and is working with a number of chains on new menu items.
SCHOOL NUTRITION SUMMARY
- The Montana Farm to School test is underway with product development for the three test districts. A session proposal was submitted to the farm to school conference summarizing the test which partners USDA mushrooms and local Montana beef. The State of Florida is beginning a similar test to incorporate fresh mushroom into their local beef program to make serving local Florida beef more economical. The best practices from these pilots will be shared throughout the country to increase adoption throughout the country.
- Case studies tracking Blend success are currently being developed to report on the promotions at Coppell SD, San Diego SD, Greely SD, Montana, Irving SD, Windham Raymond SD, Cypress Fairbanks SD, Missouri and Sodexo.
- A press release summarizing the Sodexo case study was shared with the produce and foodservice trade media resulting in placements in The Packer, Foodservice Director, Food Navigator and more.
- Discussions with the Dairy Management Inc. have started to incorporate a Blended Burger Bash at the annual Fuel Up to Play 60 summer summit. The event would launch the Blended Burger Bash campaign for School Year 2016/2017
- A school nutrition industry webinar is planned for May to arm Mushroom sales representatives with the best resources to take advantage of school sales.
- A new school nutrition advertisement featuring the new campaign Blend the Rules was featured in School Nutrition magazine’s February issue.
- All recipes on mushroomsinschools.com are currently being updated to meet changing meal pattern requirements. You can view the updated recipes and resources here.
Currently coordinating Q1 Nutrition News About Mushrooms e-newsletter, featuring a guest article from media RD Rebecca Scritchfield about mushrooms and weight management. E-Newsletter will deliver in March for National Nutrition Month and promote the Mighty Mushrooms Pinterest Contest.
- Finalized the draft for the new retail dietitian toolkit which will launch this March at Oldways. Currently under review with USDA.
- The Council is attending Oldways Supermarket RD Symposium in New Orleans March 20 – 22. We will present to over 60 retail dietitians from all over the country on The Blend and attendees will have the chance to sample The Blend tacos. The Council will also distribute its new retail dietitian toolkit on USB drives to all attendees. We will also be featuring a ½ page ad in the conference program book as part of our sponsorship.
- The Council is excited to partner with the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance to expand our supermarket dietitian database and develop new leads to explore retail Blend pilots with. With this partnership, the Council will reach its 1,900+ members with multiple touchpoints throughout the year, including a newsletter article (April), e‐blast (July), webinar (June), and event sponsorship at FNCE (October). The Mushroom Council logo is also now featured on the sponsor page of their website.
- The Council will be a sponsor at RDBA’s Supermarket Dietitian networking event and will host another intimate RD influencer dinner/reception.
- The Council reached out to over 130 retail dietitians with the DGA press release.
- Redner’s RD promoted The Blend on local broadcast station, reaching 100,140 viewers.
- Weis RD to promote The Blend for Heart Health month on local broadcast (WBNG-TV) on February 22.
- 165 Weis stores will be featuring “Mushrooms Are A Superfood” Signage starting in March through the rest of 2016.
- Roundy’s RD distributing The Blend in their Diabetes and Weight Watcher groups.
- Sent 100 Blend recipe cards to Giant Food RD to distribute at her educational classes for shoppers.
- Reasor’s RD reaching 200 customers at weight management event on February 18 and will be distributing Blend recipe cards and information.
- HyVee included Blend chili recipe cards at mushroom display while the Chef demoed the recipe. HyVee’s RD reported that mushrooms “were flying of the shelves.”
The Council continues to target small to mid-sized regional retailers (on both coasts) with newly updated sales information and co-marketing plans that promote mushrooms and The Blend at retail.
Shippers / Growers
The Council is working with shippers on programs, promotions and materials to generate awareness and sales of The Blend at retail. The Council provides hands-on marketing consultation to assist shippers in increasing their sales of The Blend and mushrooms. Please contact Fusion Marketing if you would like marketing assistance with your Blend or mushroom programs. Contact information can be found at MushroomsAtRetail.com.
The Council, along with B&C Fresh Sales, met with Mother’s Market and Kitchen’s executive management in January to discuss phasing in The Blend at their stores. The Council will begin by sampling Turkey Blend Tacos in their Newport Beach flagship location before rolling it out to additional stores.
Lucky’s Market philosophy is that good food shouldn’t be a luxury, it should be a right. The store is dedicated to good food without the high prices. They specialize in local and organic. The Council is in discussion with their Boulder, CO. based Culinary Director responsible for deli and prepared foods. Lucky’s Market stores are located in 11 states.
Lucky’s Market has their own publication. The Council is working on getting a feature article and The Blend recipes included in their publication. This is in the very early planning stage.
The Council is lining-up opportunities for 2016 retail co-marketing promotions.
The Council is in discussion with the Beef Checkoff to further develop the Summer Grilling Promotion. Different ideas are being discussed to see how the program’s success from its launch last year will be expanded this year. New recipes will be developed with the Culinary Institute of America, which will include a Blend burger. Additionally, social media will be important to the success of this promotion and ideas are being discussed on how to generate more participants this year. The Council negotiated with the Beef Checkoff to receive a complete list of email addresses from participants that opt-in when participating in the sweepstakes. The Beef Checkoff was very complementary of the social amplification the Council provided last year. They especially appreciated the veal Instagram videos and would like to incorporate them again this year.
The Council met with Trinchero Family Estates wines to discuss cross promoting The Blend. Nutritional information, recipes and Blend information have been sent to them for initial review. The Council will follow-up for further discussion to promote The Blend.
As part of our strategic plan, The Council will network with Supermarket Registered Dietitians at various conferences. The Council will participate in the Oldways Symposium March 22-24 at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans; and the FNCE Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo October 15-18 in Boston.
Conferences and Materials
The Council attended the appetites + innovation retail foodservice conference in January. Retail foodservice includes the restaurants, wine bars and coffee shops that are inside retail grocery stores. This is a very big growth area of opportunity for grocery retailers. The conference is the Culinary Institute of America’s newest industry leadership initiative. It was by invitation only and included 30-35 senior culinary and business leaders in all sectors of retail foodservice. This Collaborative will meet once per year at the CIA’s Napa Valley Campus, and will additionally form a series of working groups to advance shared objectives and stay connected throughout the year.
The Blend presentation deck was posted to retail page of the MC.org site (under Presentations). This deck can be utilized by shippers/growers and their sales force to promote The Blend at retail.
Retailer Data Information
The Council continues to deliver The Tracker Suite on a monthly basis. Additionally, ad hoc retail data information is provided to the Council’s staff whenever needed. The Council provides assistance for category managers and staff to better understand data assets. Be sure to track your market to see how your region and markets are performing.
- Mushrooms Still Growing After All This Time- Produce Business
- Moving More Mushrooms On to Menus – Produce Business
- Mushroom Council Plans Chef Support – The Packer
Tracker Highlights from 12/27/2015
Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy
- In the 4‐weeks – Mushroom category dollars deliver strong growth, up +7.7%
- In the 52‐weeks – 52‐week category growth closing the gap to Total Produce