Shipping Reports

Monthly Shipping Report | July 2016

July 29, 2016


  • The next Council meeting is September 8-9, 2016 in Kennett Square, PA. If you plan on attending, please email [email protected] so we can make sure you are accommodated.
  • Completed ballots have been tallied. Those that will be sent to the Secretary of Agriculture for possible appointment have been mailed background forms to be completed.
    • Region 1; All states except CA & PA (one position)
    • Region 2; PA (one position)
    • Region 3; CA (one position)



Mushroom Council Marketing Summary – July 2016

Mushrooms appeared in a variety of regional and national lifestyle, business and foodservice trade outlets with articles highlighting recipes, their superfood qualities, The Blend and the Blended Burger Project (BBP). Food Management Magazine captured Sodexo’s move to blended burgers as a part of their 16 Fresh Culinary ideas. We saw several great mentions of the Blended Burger Project (BBP) in local outlets, including Colorado Springs Gazette, CultureMap Austin,, Sarasota Herald Tribune, and the Seattle Times among others.

Stemming from the retail push in Tulsa, Oklahoma around Doc’s Food Stores adopting The Blend across their deli, meat and produce departments, we saw pick-up in trade outlets like Progressive Grocer and Perishable News, as well the Tulsa World. As an extension of the Doc’s Food Market news, we also helped coordinate a Blended Burger Battle in Tulsa in conjunction with Kitchen66, an incubator for food entrepreneurs, resulting in three broadcast mentions of the BBP and The Blend via News on 6, Channel 2 and Channel 8. Additional broadcast segments around the BBP in other cities included CBS Minnesota, Fox 5 Atlanta, and Seattle’s King5. WNYC-FM “The Sporkful” also featured Jahangir Mehta and The Blend in a great podcast speaking to the future of meat.

Please see below for a snapshot of coverage and links to key online and print articles:

Online Coverage

Date Publication Headline Link
6/1/2016 Progressive Grocer Doc’s 1st to Blend Mushrooms in 3 Departments | ProgressiveGrocer Link
6/1/2016 Minnesotaskinny A Burger Movement is Here, and the Rock Elm Tavern is 1UP Link
6/1/2016 Perishable News Doc’s Food Stores Promotes ‘The Blend’ In Three Departments – PerishableNews Link
6/2/2016 Portland Food Events HSG | JAMES BEARD’S BBP Link
6/2/2016 Perishable News Mushroom Council And The Beef Checkoff Partner For 2nd Veal Summer Grilling Promotion – PerishableNews Link
6/2/2016 Officialwebnews Regatta Bar and Grille, Soon-To-Be Bourbon Prime Steakhouse, Announces Participation In The James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project | Official Web News Link
6/2/2016 Robbins List Vote for Elm City Social in The James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project! Link
6/3/2016 Culture Map Austin chefs compete in national competition to blend a better burger Link

Online Coverage

Date Publication Headline Link
6/3/2016 Table Talk: El Paso County has a new family and consumer science extension agent Link
6/3/2016 Zink Kitchen + Bar Announces Participation In The James Beard Foundations Blended Burger Project Link
6/6/2016 Matt Mytro, chef at Flour, competes for best Beard Foundation burger (recipe) Link
6/6/2016 Newspaper Post Guilt Free(ish) burger! Link
6/7/2016 mySA Two San Antonio restaurants battle for best blended burger in the nation – San Antonio Express-News Link
6/7/2016 Burger of the Month Specials: June ‘16 Link
6/7/2016 Southwest Florida Herald Tribune Michael’s On East debuts ‘blended burger’ Link
6/7/2016 Savannah’s Gottlieb brothers need help to bring Bloomingdale burger to NYC | Savannah Food & Dining | Savannah Restaurant Week Link
6/7/2016 2 Kansas City-Area Chefs Participating in James Beard Blended Burger Project Link
6/8/2016 Shreveport Times Popular Shreveport bistro competing in national burger contest Link
6/8/2016 Avenue Pub, Vitascope Hall battle for votes in James Beard Blended Burger contest Link
6/8/2016 Bizjournals Mushroom in your burger rather than on it? Denver chefs pushing concept Link
6/8/2016 Mixing mushrooms into patties makes a healthier, more sustainable burger Link
6/9/2016 Florida Today Chef competes for James Beard honor Link
6/9/2016 PubliCola Seven Seattle Area Restaurants Making Awesome Burgers Link
6/10/2016 Orlando Weekly Three local chefs are competing in the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project Link
6/10/2016 Fox 5 Atlanta Burgers With Buck Heads To The Establishment – Story | WAGA Link
6/11/2016 My Edmonds News My Edmonds Restaurant News: Founder dishes out details… Link
6/12/2016 Sporkful Burgers Of The Future (Cow Not Included) Link
6/13/2016 Tavern, Fassler Hall, Kitchen 66 join Blended Burger Contest Link
6/14/2016 Eco Anchor NYC The Hagstrom Report | Tuesday 06.14.16 Link
6/16/2016 JBF Challenges Chefs To Make A ‘Blended Burger’ Link

Print Coverage

Date Publication Headline URL
6/1/2016 FOOD MANAGEMENT 16 Fresh Culinary Ideas Link
6/1/2016 YOGA Journal Better burgers Link
6/1/2016 EATING WELL Soups & Stews Link
6/1/2016 MOTHER EARTH LIVING Super-Easy Recipes for Early Summer Produce Link
6/1/2016 GOOD HOUSEKEEPING 26 delicious ideas to EAT,GRILL, SIP & SERVE Link
6/1/2016 EVERY DAY WITH RACHAEL RAY It’s the year of the VEGETABLE Link
6/1/2016 SHAPE MAGAZINE Slimming stir-fry Link
6/8/2016 TULSA WORLD A perfect blending Link
6/8/2016 SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE Michaels On East debuts ‘blended’ burger Link
6/8/2016 PLAIN DEALER Chef shares his recipe for blended burger Link
6/8/2016 SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL California Grill joins JB Blended Burger Project Link
6/13/2016 WOMAN’S WORLD Have your healthiest summer ever! Link
6/14/2016 METRO PHILADELPHIA Blended burgers are a step toward a healthier world Link
6/22/2016 CHARLOTTE SUN Michael’s Mighty Mushroom Burger unveiled as part of the #BlendedBurgerProject Link
6/24/2016 GREENVILLE NEWS Grill Marks competing for national award Link
6/27/2016 WOMAN’S WORLD Sandwiches for dinner! Link
6/29/2016 SEATTLE TIMES How to make A BETTER BURGER Link
6/29/2016 PRESS DEMOCRAT ‘Shroom for Improvement Link

Social & Digital


The Mushroom Channel published five blog posts that garnered 411 page views and accounted for 0.37% of all page views in June.

Blended Burger Project
Social buzz continues online from chefs, media and consumers – including notable posts from influencers like Duff Goldman (Ace of Cakes on Food Network), Vivian Howard (Chef & the Farmer; A Chef’s Life on PBS Food), and Logan Guleff (Masterchef Jr. Winner).

Digital Metrics

Download the full digital report here.


The Blended Burger Project

As we head into the last month of the James Beard Promotion, we have nearly 375 chefs from 38 states that are participating by menuing Blended Burgers.  Since this year the promotion called for consumer voting, the chefs had to take photos of their burger, describe them and upload them to the James Beard/Blended Burger Project website.  More than 500,000 consumers have voted so far, with another month to go.  Plus, the Council is now able to see every burger that is being menued and track their votes.  To This has allowed for a considerable amount of publicity—both generated by JBF and the Council on a national basis and in local markets based on our interaction with each chef and their own publicity.  To see all of the burgers and to vote for your favorite go to:

The 5 top vote-getters will be flown to the historic James Beard House in October to cook their burgers.  Presently, the top 5 are from all over the nation showcasing the broad appeal of the program.

Culinary Institute of America

Four meetings were held at and with CIA, each with its own opportunity to reach and educate more culinary professionals about the Blend.  Menus of Change, Healthy Menus Collaborative and the University arm of Menus of Change all met at CIA last month.  The Blend was prominent in each symposium—not just serving the Blend, but discussions about the benefits and success stories around menuing.

June also saw CIA and The Mushroom Council host the first ever CIA Blended Burger Bash.  11 student groups, of up to 4 students in each group, competed for scholarship awards in two Blended Burger categories.  There was also a “people’s choice” award winner.  Altogether, the students created 22 Blended burgers showcasing to other students and the culinary professors how good and how beneficial a burger can be when blended with mushrooms.

UMASS Chef Conference

In early June the Council attended the Chef Culinary Conference at UMASS. The Blend was a prominent theme at the conference, being mentioned by several speakers, including Greg Drescher, and Christopher Gardner, and being featured several times on the menu. The entertainment for the evening was a fast-paced cooking competition called Cut Throat Kitchen, hosted by Jet Tila. The second night of the competition challenged three chefs to make the best blended burger. The winner, Justin Irvin from Vanderbilt, prepared a classic “cheeseburger with fries,” opting to top the burger with french fries rather than a bun. Chef Jehangir Mehta represented The Blend and the Council well at the conference, demoing the blend on stage during the general sessions as well as getting hands on with the chefs in the workshops. Jehangir’s salmon blend burger was served during the reception on Monday night.

Tuesday, the Council had a booth at the Showcase where attending chefs had the opportunity to sample UMASS’s entry into the Blended Burger Project; a 30/70 blended burger topped with cheddar cheese, kimchi and maitake mushrooms. Chefs loved the idea of entering the contest, and commented that it would be an easy lift seeing they already menued blended burgers. All photos from the event can be seen on UMASS’s Flickr page:

Other University Programs

The Council was present at three different college symposiums in June.  University of Massachusetts World Culinary Conference featured a demo by Chef Jehangir Mehta on a burger blended with mushrooms and seafood.  Chefs also had to create their own Blended Burger in the Cutthroat Kitchen competition hosted by TV star Chef Jet Tila.  The Council spoke about the Blend and held an opening night Blended Burger Bash at the Pacific NACUFS Chefnet meeting of chefs as well as NACUFS Pacific Region University dietitians.


Work continues with both regional and national chains.  Worth noting, based on our submission, Chef Steve Sturm from Firebirds Grill won the award from United Fresh based on his use of vegetables and The Blend on his menu.


  • The Council participated in the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference in San Antonio, Texas. During the conference the Council sampled Blended Thai Chili Meatballs and promoted the new Blend the Rules campaign. Representatives from Kitchen Pride Mushrooms joined the Council for the first day of the expo. The Council will also be sponsoring a Burger Bash at the upcoming Fuel Up To Play 60 leadership summit in July in Indianapolis, IN.
  • The Council plans to launch its Blend the Rules campaign this summer throughout the conferences and expos. The campaign encourages district directors to show us how they are using different tricks to serve healthier meals to students. The campaign will last throughout the 2016/2017 school year cumulating in an Earth Day announcement.
  • Dallas Public Schools and San Diego Public Schools have switched to serving Blended Burgers in their districts.
  • Farm to School campaigns promoting fresh mushrooms are planned to take place in Georgia, Florida and Washington D.C.
  • Plans are being developed to create a Blended Burger Bash in Nashville Public Schools
  • Several case studies and best practices documents are currently in development to aid mushroom farms in selling directly to schools and assist schools in easily add mushrooms to their menus. Case studies from the Montana Blend Pilot, Cypress Fairbanks and Coppell District will be added to the website.
  • The Mushroom Council has been working with School Food Focus to promote blending with Grass Fed Beef and mushrooms within their member districts.
  • A new ad featuring testimonial from Cincinnati Public Schools has been developed and is featured in this month’s School Nutrition magazine.
  • The Council has developed digital ads to appear in the School Nutrition Association e-blast as well as a direct send via School Nutrition smart brief in order to promote the availability of mushrooms as well as Council developed resources.
  • All recipes on are currently being updated to meet changing meal pattern requirements. You can view the updated recipes and resources here.


The Q2 Nutrition News About Mushrooms e-Newsletter was delivered to 8,000+ nutrition professionals. This issue featured a guest article from Beth Weis, RD at Weis Markets about The Blend at retail.


Ongoing marketing support for the Retail Dietitian Toolkit is being provided via Retail Dietitians Business Alliance and owned channels. The Toolkit was shared with all 80 participants who attended the RDBA webinar.

As a result of the Mushroom Council’s sponsorship of the 6th Annual Oldways Supermarket Dietitian Symposium, we are in ongoing discussion with 17 leads from the following retailers: Festival Foods, H-E-B, Lunds & Byerlys, Target, Harmons, Giant Eagle, Kroger, Mariano’s, Meijer, Reasor’s, Stop & Shop, ALDI, Schnuck Markets, Big Y, Price Chopper, Rouses and New Seasons Market.

The Council sponsored a webinar for retail dietitians through Retail Dietitians Business Alliance on June 30. We presented case studies on how retailers are implementing The Blend in their produce, meat and deli departments. We polled the 80 supermarket dietitians on the webinar and learned that 62% were hearing about The Blend for the first time and 69% said they would like to see their retailers promote AND sell The Blend in their stores. We will be able to use this data for a future trade press release. SRDs have reached out to us following the webinar asking for copies of slides and providing us with positive feedback on the presentation and The Blend. Some have also expressed interest in bringing The Blend to their retailers’ department heads. Over 1900 members of RDBA received information about the Mushroom Council webinar.

The Council will be a sponsor at RDBA’s Supermarket Dietitian networking event on Saturday, October 15 and will host a cocktail reception for supermarket, media and blogger dietitians on Monday, October 17. Save the dates for the cocktail reception will go out in early July.

Supermarket RDs continue to promote The Blend as a result of our ongoing efforts and outreach:

SRD at HyVee shared Mushroom Council’s website for Blend and mushroom recipes during their Twitter Chat, #HyVeeSummer, which reached over 26,000 people and had 190,000 impressions (this was a direct result of our RDBA webinar).


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

Please contact Fusion Marketing if you would like sales and marketing assistance with your Blend or mushroom programs. If you or your staff need assistance, please contact us.  Contact information can be found at

Retail Marketing

Doc’s Foods Stores (Country Mart, J&B Food, Apple Market) had a successful Blend pilot launch with their promotion in the meat, deli and produce departments in June.  The Pilot program was successful, with Doc’s continuing to sell and promote The Blend in all three departments (produce, deli, meat) as part of their ongoing business.

The Council is creating a case study to help others launch The Blend.

Throughout the promotion, Doc’s Market featured mushrooms in a Weekly Circular Summertime Savings promotion at Doc’s Country Mart. The Blend is highlighted in Doc’s Best Food Day ads. Mushrooms are promoted (in produce department), hamburger (in the meat department) and meatloaf (in the deli).

Small retailer in Ohio is interested in The Blend. Sent the Chili recipe. More discussion with this retailer to place The Blend in their different departments.

Yoke’s is a neighborhood grocery store that specializes in using the freshest, local products from area farmers. It focuses on the environment and finding innovative ways to offer a greener shopping experience. Stores are located in Washington and Idaho. The Council is introducing The Blend to Yoke’s.

Metropolitan Market has multiple locations throughout Seattle and Tacoma. Their goal is to be the area’s leading progressive, independent grocer to bring consumers unique products of the highest quality. They offer their consumers a Culinary Kiosk with over 400 tried and tested recipes. The Council is discussing The Blend with them.


The Council is implementing opportunities for 2016 retail co-marketing promotions.

A press release was developed to promote The Blend. The release will be sent to the trade in July. The Mushroom Council will feature Cabot’s Portobello Alpine Beef Burger. A Grilled Cheesy Portobello Caps with Turkey Sage recipe will also be featured. Both recipes will link back to Cabot’s Website. Cabot Creamery will include the Council’s Blended Lasagna Roll Ups recipe using Cabot Alpine Cheddar and a Cheeseburger Pizza using Cabot Vermont Sharp cheese. Both recipes will link back to the Council’s website.

The Council sent the National Turkey Federation a variety of turkey recipes to post to their website. The NTF is in the process of review which turkey recipes they would like to promote. The Council is reviewing recipes on their site; however, images are limited with the recipes.

Updated Information

The Council is in discussion with Kenwood Wines and Weber Grills for a  potential promotion at retail. Pernod Ricard USA is the parent company of Kenwood Wines. Other brands include: Absolut® Vodka, Avión Tequila®, Chivas Regal® Scotch Whiskey, The Glenlivet® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Jameson® Irish Whiskey, Malibu®, Kahlúa® Liqueur, Beefeater® Gin, Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin®, Martell® Cognac, Hiram Walker® Liqueurs, Perrier-Jouët® Champagne, G.H. Mumm™ Champagne and Mumm Napa.

The promotion includes sampling opportunites, working with other partners including Weber Grills. The Council would be able to provide Instant Redeemable Coupons and Mail-In rebates for mushrooms and cap it at a specified amount. The promotion has a National Sweepstakes for entry to win a Weber Grill through Facebook. The promotion would take place May-June 2017. Approximately 200,000 necker booklets are printed. The booklet contains the coupons used for the promotion. More details to come.

The Mushroom Council and Beef Checkoff Veal Mushroom Summer Grilling promotion is helping the Council generate new email addresses for the Mushroom Council’s newsletter. In 4 ½ years, the Council has collected 4,000 names. With the addition of this promotion, we now have over 8,000 names. We have doubled names for the list in only one month.

The e-blast was sent to consumers from the Mushroom Lover’s list. The list included new names generated from the promotion.

Promoting The Blend at Retail

The Council met with Shop to Cook. They sell kiosks which are placed in retailers across the U.S. with such banners as C&S Wholesale Grocers, Harvest Market, Whole Foods, Spartan Nash, Piggly Wiggly to name a few. Consumers can access coupons, recipes, interactive ad circulars, loyalty programs, coupon cards, and order online. The content is synchronized across all channels. The recipe database contains approximately 13,582 recipes. New content is added daily. The Council is providing them with new Blend recipes.

A press release was distributed to the trade on the Fresh Mushroom Fast Facts study. The release was picked-up by The Produce News, The Packer, The Packer Week in Review, The Packer Retail and Fresh Plaza. Approximately 172,350 impressions were generated.

Retailer Data Information

A press release was distributed to the trade on the Fresh Mushroom Fast Facts study. The release was picked-up by The Produce News, The Packer, The Packer Week in Review, The Packer Retail and Fresh Plaza. Approximately 172,350 impressions were generated.



Tracker Highlights from 05/15/2016

Click here for the full report

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