Monthly Shipping Report | June 2015
- The next Council meeting is September 16-17 in Seattle, WA. If you plan on attending, please email Cheryl@mushroomcouncil.org so we can make sure you are accommodated.
- Ballots: Ballots were mailed on June 1, 2015. Regions with positions opening up are Region 2; PA (two positions) and Region 3 (one position).
- 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.
To see current charts click here.
- Follow up, Food Network Magazine, May 2015
- New flavors, new trends, new habits in snack foods, Shelby Report of the Southwest, May 2015
- OSU Partners with Mushroom Council, On-Campus Hospitality, 5/1
- Mushrooms may boost immunity, IFT, 5/1
- ‘Cook Your Butt Off!’ With Rocco DiSpirito, NYT Blog, 51
- Know Your Mushroom Varieties And How To Cook With Them Best, Food Republic, 5/4
- Mushroom Council looking to expand The Blend into retail segment, Produce News, 5/4
- 7 May Veggies You Need on Your Plate Now!, Supermarket Guru, 5/6
- 6 Foods That Can Make You Happier, TIME, 5/9
- Easy dinner recipes: Meatless Monday ideas for mushroom lovers, LA Times, 5/11
- 6 Foods That Can Make You Happier, Huffington Post, 5/17
- Cook these veggies! Why raw isn’t always better, Boston Globe, 5/17
- A New Chef Show From Ovation TV; Breeding Better Wheat at Washington State, Eater, 5/18
- Chefs to clash in mushroom burger duel, The Packer, 5/22
- Insiders Viewpoint: The Trend to Blend: How Mushrooms Can Enhance Your Meals, Fruits and Veggies More Matters, 5/26
- Top 10 new burgers to try in New York this summer, NY Daily News, 5/27
- Food writer for the Huffington Post, Edward Schneider, described a recent cooking dilemma when throwing a dinner party— he didn’t have enough duck meat to serve his amount of guests, but instead was able to extend portions and elevate flavor by adding mushrooms to the mixture. See full article here.
- This month, the Council fostered relationships with health and food influencers, such as supermarket dietitians.
- The Council conducted local and national media outreach, finalized the press release and chef toolkit materials, continue chef outreach to garner restaurant sign-ups, finalized the JBF website and planned additional local chef events in Philadelphia, Nashville and San Francisco.
- A press release was distributed and received national and local pick-up prior to the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend, such as Yahoo!, Nation’s Restaurant News, Boston.com and Dallas Morning News.
- The Council hosted the first local chef event in Boston on 5/12 at Davio’s restaurant was hosted by Louisa Kasdon of Let’s Talk about Food and Chef Steve DiFilippo. Blend burgers were served to nearly 50 guests, including media and chefs.
- The MHGI Bulletin featuring an “Evolution of the Blend” article was distributed.
- The Council worked with Chef Linton Hopkins to develop a Bolognese mushroom blend recipe for the September issue of SHAPE Magazine.
- The Mushroom Channel engaged with seven food service partners including the Culinary Institute of America, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, Red Robin, Del Campo DC, Morton’s Steakhouse, the Cheesecake Factory and Bin 36.
- Mushroom Channel published four blogger recipes with 1,974+ page views and accounted for 1.58 percent of all website referral traffic in May.
- Paula of bell’alimento’s Cheesy Mushroom Tart
- Denise from Chez Us’ Blend Mushroom Beef and Swiss Burgers
- Chef Billy Parisi’s Mushroom, Blue Cheese, and Caramelized Onion Burger
- Robyn from Add a Pinch’s Mushroom Swiss Burger
- Search ad words accounted for 9.3 percent of total visits in May. Top performing paid keywords included: mushroom recipes, morel and mushrooms + meatloaf.
For more detailed social analytics download the NEW Social Analytics Report here.
Today, we have 200 independent restaurants around the country who are now menuing The Blend. They include Iron Chefs, Top Chefs, Chopt participants and judges, upscale resorts, food trucks, retail restaurants, burger joints, steakhouse and a number of “trendy, hip” restaurants.
The Council, along with various partners planned special Chefs Luncheons in several markets to introduce the top chefs of those cities to The Blend. The first Chefs Lunch was held in Boston at Davios for around 20 chefs who had a chance to sample two different Blend Burgers, hear from the chefs about how much they loved The Blend.
In early June The Council is busy planning lunches for chefs in Philadelphia with chefs from Supper, Beast & Ale and others planning to create Blend Burgers as well as in Nashville where Chefs Maneet Chauhan and Jehangir Mehta will be introducing local chefs to The Blend. The Council is also planning a chef’s event at Park Tavern in San Francisco for 50 chefs.
College & Universities
This segment continues to be an important part of our program, since they were the earliest adopters and universities across the country continue to adopt The Blend. We will be speaking about the Blend this summer at the UMASS Culinary Conference in front of 250 chefs and at NACUFS later this summer which is the national conference for all colleges and universities. Blend demos will continue at Midwest universities, while we plan Mushroom Mania events for the fall.
Commercialization of The Blend
The Council is working with a number of chains and their meat suppliers as they look into how to commercialize The Blend. We are facilitating information, education and formulation between the chains and the suppliers, as well as working with retailers and others who are looking for the best way to Blend in their operations with their equipment and processes. No matter what, once again, it shows how many believe strongly in the Blend and are trying to make it work in their operations.
Chain Restaurant Promotions
It’s coming up on summer, and restaurant chains are focused on mushrooms. While the Council continues to work in menu development and assistance for a variety of chains, some of which have never used mushrooms, others are bringing back old favorites, because they were so successful. Romano’s Macaroni Grill features mushrooms in both their $9 Express Menu (stuffed mushrooms with Italian sausage, goat cheese and spinach) a as well as in their $7 in 7 minutes lunch promotion (Italian Sausage Rigatone with mushrooms, Romano cheese and Alfredo).
Golden Corral is running a Breakfast for Lunch and Dinner promotion with one of the omelet items being mushrooms. Amtrak is now using cremini mushrooms in their omelets, after going on a mushroom tour with chains last spring. Plus McDonald’s is still promoting their Sirloin Burgers including the Steakhouse with Mushrooms.
Cosi brings back their successful Bowls promotion, one of which is a Portabella Bowl.
SCHOOL NUTRITION SUMMARY
- Mushroom Council sponsored the Ohio School Nutrition Association conference. The director of Cincinnati Public Schools was an early adopter of The Blend. Council staff sampled Blend tacos to attendees and sponsored the opening conference session.
- Mushroom Council is developing Sesame Street materials to support the launch of the Blend burgers with Sodexo K-12 schools
- Mushroom Council is planning to exhibit at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference in July in Salt Lake City in July. The Council plans to launch the new Farm to School kit allowing districts to implement a mushroom Harvest of the Month program. The Council will sample pizza with blended meatballs, speed scratch blended product and fresh mushrooms.
- The Council’s school nutrition database received an invitation to visit the booth at the annual conference in Salt Lake City.
- All recipes on www.mushroomsinschools.com are currently being updated to meet changing meal pattern requirements. You can view the updated recipes and resources here.
We are refreshing outdated resources including the vitamin D fact sheet and the mushroom nutrition PowerPoint. Developed and distributed the Q2 Nutrition News About Mushrooms e-newsletter.
Retail (Supermarket RD)
Planning and coordination for a dietitian influencer mushroom farm tour, taking place June 9th at To-Jo and Phillip’s Mushroom Farms. Eight supermarket and media dietitians are confirmed to attend. Retailers represented include Wegmans, Weis Markets, and ShopRite. Starting to ideate around SRD activation for the annual registered dietitian conference, FNCE, taking place in Nashville this October.
The Council continues to target small to mid-sized regional retailers (on both coasts) for the introduction of The Blend in grocery chain’s deli, foodservice and meat departments.
The Redner’s Warehouse Market’s meeting the week of May 18th discussed marketing strategies for The Blend. Redner’s is packaging four Blend burgers per package. The Vice President of Perishables stated that the first week of Blend burger sales were, “very encouraging and better than expected.” Redner’s, the Council and Giorgio Fresh Mushrooms are co-sponsoring in-store demos running in July with product promoted along with information and recipes for consumers. Demos will be held in 20 stores. Redner’s will monitor sales of meat, mushrooms, and Blend burgers. The demos will also include copies of the HealthCents magazine being distributed to consumers. The Blend is detailed in a lengthy article in their publication. Additionally, the Council is developing a Blend retail ad to be used in Redner’s Best Food Day Ad. The ad and write-up will be available in next month’s report.
Mollie Stone’s Markets is still testing several Blend burgers (beef, turkey and chicken) for their meat department.
The Council is reaching out to Whole Foods, Bristol Farms, Schnuck’s and several other retailers to introduce Blend items in their stores.
The Council is co-marketing with the Beef Checkoff with a new veal mushroom blend burger recipe. The recipe is the Muenster Stuffed Veal and Mushroom Burger developed by the Culinary Institute of America. The burger includes two Blended veal burgers with a slice of Muenster cheese between the patties. The burger is then topped with more mushrooms!
Update: 1,000,000 veal on-pack recipe labels are being printed. Please see labels below (not to size, they will be bigger than shown here). The Council has presence on the VealMadeEasy site (click here to view) and will be included in digital and social advertising with links back to the Council’s website. The Council is featuring this recipe on MushroomInfo.com with links back to the VealMadeEasy site. The Council is also mentioned in photography and cooking demonstration videos. There is also a consumer sweepstakes component. The promotion will run from June 19, 2015 through September 4, 2015. This promotion will help build awareness for The Blend during the summer grilling timeframe. A press release to the trade is in development.
The list of partial participating retailers include:
- Harris Teeter
- Ahold – Giant Carlisle, Stop & Shop NY, Giant Landover, Stop & Shop New England
- King Kullen
- Tops Markets
- Weis Markets
- Safeway – Maryland
- Fairway Markets
- Pecks Market
- Food Emporium
- Kings Food Market
- Market Basket- DeMoulas
- Redner’s Markets
- Big Y
The American Egg Board is excited to be co-marketing with the Mushroom Council through social media channels. They will post the Council’s mushroom images and recipes to their 700,000+ Facebook followers using custom content to catch their followers’ attention. Content will also be posted to their Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube channels. Content will link back to the mushroominfo.com website.
The Council’s partnership with Gourmet Garden is now well underway. The Gourmet Garden mushroom recipes hosted on mushroominfo.com site generated many page views. The Mushroom Basil Polenta Casserole and Basil Mushroom Frittata had 100 page views each for the month of May. The Mediterranean Stuffed Mushrooms had 118 page views. The Gourmet Garden website which has several of the Council’s mushroom and Blend recipes generates 22,000 page views per month. A trade press release announcing the co-marketing promotion was featured in The Packer, Produce News and others.
Below are the links to view the pages:
- Mushroom Recipes
- Mushroom Council Earns PR Award – The Packer
- Blendability Continues to Drive Mushroom Demand – Produce News
- Mushroom Council Wins Top PR Award – Perishable News
- Chefs Clash In Mushroom Burger Duel – The Packer
The Topline report week ending 4/19/2015 was sent to the industry on 5/26/2015; click here to access the report online.
Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy
Total Mushrooms – 4 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales were flat and lagged Total Produce’s growth of +0.7% by -0.7 point
- California led in dollar growth rate at +3.1%; Great Lakes declined -7.5%
- On a Market basis, Albany posted the only double-digit dollar growth at +10.2%. Chicago posted the largest decline, down -26.1%
- Total U.S. Organic dollar sales grew +16.1%, driven by California (+63.5%) which held a 17.0% share of total Organic dollars
- Volume in pounds for Total U.S. increased +0.7% and South Central led the Regions with a volume increase of +4.8%. Great Lakes volume declined -5.5%
- At the Market level, Baltimore/Washington showed the largest volume increase at +9.0%
- Total U.S. Organic volume grew 19.2%, while California Organic volume increased +76.9%. California held a 13.7% share of total Organic volume
Segment/Variety – 4 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales of the White segment declined -0.6%, while Brown mushrooms were flat (0.0%)
- Cremini mushrooms grew dollar sales +1.7% while Portabellas declined -3.8%
- On a Regional basis, Midsouth led the Regions in White mushroom dollar growth, up +7.6%
- Brown mushrooms posted growth in four of eight regions. Midsouth dollars declined -10.3%, while dollars in California grew +6.2%
- White segment dollars were down in 30 of 49 Markets with results ranging from an increase of +14.6% in Raleigh/Greensboro to a decline of -37.2% in Chicago. In the Brown segment, 21 of 49 Markets posted strong dollar gains, including San Francisco (+19.9%), Albany (+17.2%) and Grand Rapids (+15.5%)
- Total U.S. volume in pounds for the White segment was flat, while the Brown segment saw overall volume growth of +2.2%, driven by Cremini mushrooms, up +5.3%
- In the Brown segment, Great Lakes led Regional volume growth at +9.4%. Midsouth and Plains declined -7.9% and -16.7%, respectively
Total Mushrooms – 52 Weeks
- The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +2.2% lagged Total Produce’s growth trend of +3.3% by -1.1 points
- Midsouth and California led the Regions with the top dollar sales trend, up +4.4%. Northeast holds the largest dollar share (20.8%) and grew +2.5%. Great Lakes declined -1.6%
- Most Markets experienced dollar growth, notably Philadelphia (+9.6%), Raleigh/Greensboro (+8.0%) and Charlotte (+6.1%)
- Total U.S. Organic dollar sales grew +18.7%, driven by California (+61.6%) which held a 14.7% share of total Organic dollars
- Total U.S. mushroom volume in pounds grew +2.0%
- Seven of eight Regions delivered volume growth, led by California at +4.6%. Plains declined -4.8%
- Only 12 of 49 Markets saw downward volume trends, including Chicago (-7.4%) and Pittsburgh (-5.4%)
- Organic volume increased +20.4%, driven by California (+76.4%) which held a 10.9% share of total Organic volume
Segment/Variety – 52 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales for the White segment were flat, while Midsouth (+6.4%), California (+3.1%), South Central (+3.3%) and West (1.0%) posted the only gains.
- In the Brown segment, Total U.S. dollar sales were up +4.1%. All Regions posted positive trends
- Total U.S. Brown segment dollar trends were driven by Portabella mushrooms, which hold a 32.4% dollar share of Browns and delivered sales growth of +7.8%
- At the Market level, dollar sales trends in the White segment ranged from an increase of +12.4% in Raleigh/Greensboro to a -18.5% decline in Chicago
- The Brown segment saw very strong dollar sales gains across 39 of 49 Markets, with Philadelphia leading at +16.8%. Sacramento; largest decline of -5.8%
- Total U.S. volume in pounds of White mushrooms was flat, but growth was seen in Midsouth (+5.3%) California (+3.2%) and South Central (+1.6%)
- Total U.S. volume in pounds of Brown mushrooms grew +6.8%, led by Great Lakes with growth of +13.7%
- Total U.S. Brown segment volume growth trends were driven by Cremini mushrooms which have a 70.1% volume share of Browns and delivered volume growth of +5.4%
- As with dollars, the Market level volume trends for the White segment were mixed, with 22 Markets trending upward including Raleigh/Greensboro (+11.9%) and Charlotte (+11.4%)
- The volume trend of Brown mushrooms fared better, with only seven markets trending downward. West Tex/New Mexico and Buffalo/Rochester posted the largest losses at -7.2%
- Strong volume growth in the Brown segment occurred in these Markets: Detroit (+28.4%), Grand Rapids (+27.3%) and Philadelphia (+27.3%)