Shipping Reports

Monthly Shipping Report | June 2016

June 28, 2016


  • The next Council meeting is July 12-13, 2016 in Minneapolis, MN. If you plan on attending, please email [email protected] so we can make sure you are accommodated.
  • Ballots were mailed on June 1. Completed ballots must be postmarked no later than June 30.
    Region 1; All states except CA & PA (one position)
    Region 2; PA (one position)
    Region 3; CA (one position)

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.


To see current charts, click here.


Mushrooms appeared in a variety of regional and national lifestyle, business and foodservice trade outlets with articles highlighting recipes, their superfood qualities and The Blend. Cooking Light featured a blended burger in their May issue as a spotlight to their “Flip Your Protein” series. They also posted a YouTube video (Mushroom Fun Facts), featuring Chef Jenn Louis which subsequently got picked up in top outlets such as Huffington Post, Yahoo! and AOL to name a few.

We also saw a lot of mentions of The Blend and the Blended Burger Project (BBP) in foodservice publications (Flavor & The Menu and QSR Magazine) as well as top consumer outlets such as Seattle Refined, Foodista,, CultureMap Dallas to Minnesota Monthly, Growler Magazine and Minneapolis Star Tribune. From a broadcast perspective, Good Day Oregon, KGW, and Let’s Talk Live in Washington, D.C. featured local chefs participating in the BBP and their burgers ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

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

Online Placements

Date Media Outlet Title
5/2/2016 Foodservice and Hospitality Magazine Building a Better Burger
5/3/2016 Triple Pundit Food 2.0: More Plants, Less Meat
5/10/2016 TODAY 5 ways to build a healthier burger without cutting flavor
5/11/2016 Foodista Calling All Chefs: Join the Blended Burger Project and Win a Trip to Cook at The Beard House!
5/12/2016 FoodService Director James Beard Foundation announces the second annual Blended Burger Project
5/13/2016 Tastydays Mushroom Burger Grillin Recipe
5/13/2016 LiveStrong How to Cook Portobello Mushrooms as Hamburger Buns
5/15/2016 KPAM 860 The Simple Kitchen with Missy Maki: Blended Burgers
5/17/2016 Examiner May is National Hamburger Month! Indulge at one of these SF spots
5/18/2016 Richmond Times Dispatch Practical Nutrition recipe: Spinach, Mushroom and Mozzarella Wraps
5/19/2016 CBS 3 Springfield Cooking with mushrooms using ‘The Blend’
5/23/2016 KGW 6 Oregon chefs in Blended Burger Project
5/23/2016 The Produce News Mushroom recipes abound on heels of the Mushroom Council’s The Blend campaign
5/25/2016 StarTribune What’s cooking: Linden Hills market becomes artisans’ haven
5/26/2016 USA Today 100 ways to celebrate National Burger Day
5/26/2016 The Growler Magazine Blended Burger Project: How can chopped mushrooms improve a hamburger?
5/26/2016 Blended Burger Project allows DFW chefs to get creative
5/27/2016 Metro US Don’t love veggie burgers? Try a blended burger
5/27/2016 Minnesota Monthly Do You Want Some Mushroom in Your Burger?
5/27/2016 CultureMap Dallas Dallas chefs compete in national competition to blend a better burger

Print Placements

Date Publication Headline Link
5/1/2016 FOOD & WINE Rise of the Foodniks Link
5/1/2016 WALL STREET JOURNAL Salisbury Steak With Mushroom Gravy Link
5/1/2016 SHAPE MAGAZINE Pasta & Pizza Link
5/1/2016 FOOD INDUSTRY NEWS Blended Beef & Mushrooms Catches On Link
5/1/2016 WALL STREET JOURNAL Salisbury Steak With Mushroom Gravy Link
5/1/2016 FOOD & WINE Market Math: Mushrooms Link
5/1/2016 TASTE OF HOME Get Light Right Link
5/1/2016 COOKING LIGHT Go Bowling for Better Health Link
5/1/2016 NEUROLOGY NOW Vitamin D Download Link
5/1/2016 MEN’S FITNESS Lean, green & intoxicating Link
5/26/2016 METRO NEW YORK Still in your comfort zone Link



The Mushroom Channel published six blog posts that garnered 364 page views and accounted for 0.31% of all website traffic in April.

Blended Burger Project
Social buzz continues online from chefs, media and consumers – including notable posts from influencers like Logan Guleff (Masterchef Jr. Winner), A Chef’s Life (PBS TV Series), and Umami Burger.

Digital Metrics:

Download the FULL social analytics report here.


The Blended Burger Project 

With more than 300 restaurants around the country on board, the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project has kicked off aggressively.  This year’s promotion with restaurants menuing burgers blended with meat and mushrooms again has seen Top Chefs, Chopped Chefs, Iron Chefs, diners, steakhouses, colleges, food trucks, hotels, burger chains and independents from every segment get involved.  The voting has already started and there are thousands and thousands of consumer votes for burgers that are housed on the James Beard site.  See

More than likely there is a restaurant near you, so we would encourage you to support those restaurants which have committed to The Blend and get out the vote.  You can vote for your favorites on the Voting Page on the above website.  Already, the top three restaurants have more than 15,000 consumer votes.

Local Lunches

Early in the month, in the rollup to the kickoff, the Council held its last three lunches in Minneapolis, Washington DC and Philadelphia.  The Minneapolis lunch was held at Marin, DC was at Del Campo and Philadelphia was at Garces Trading Company.  In each case, 3 other chefs cooked their version of The Blend for area chefs and media.  Each of the host chefs have signed up for the Project.

Culinary Institute of America

The Council is working on several fronts with CIA.  As an active member of the College Menus of Change Collaborative, the Council is working with the Executive Chefs of University of Colorado and University of Southern California who are leading the Culinary Sub-Group, to develop case histories around The Blend, The Better Burger Project and other plant-forward successes on campus.  The information will be presented next month at the bi-annual meeting of these colleges.

Also, using information from the Council, CIA created their own infographic around what they call “The Protein Flip”, which is about using less meat and more plant-based products in iconic foods.  On this 12-page hybrid infographic, which you can find on the Menus of Change website from CIA, at least 4 pages includes information about The Blend.  This infographic will be presented at the Menus of Change conference and is a core part of the MOC website where thousands of industry members go.

With the Council’s guidance, CIA is preparing for, as they say, the “historic” Blended Burger Bash on the Hyde Park campus.  On June 26, 11 student teams will compete in a culinary slamdown featuring The Blend.  It will be part of their Stars and Stripes weekend with lots of activities and celebrity judges.

Next Month

Consistent with our focus on creating more Blended Burger Bashes, the Council will feature a BBB at the NACUFS (College) Pacific Region meeting of chefs, the NACUFS Pacific Region meeting of campus dietitians, the Performance Food Group national meeting, a new Culinary Fight Club event in California, at UMASS Culinary Conference and at a school conference hosted by Let’s Talk About Food and Harvard.


  • The Council participated in the American Commodity Distribution Association conference and the National Farm to School Conference and Healthy Food Fuels Healthy Minds summit. The conference was able to promote the Blend and the new Farm To School kit to dozens of new directors. In June the Council will be exhibiting at the United Fresh School Foodservice expo where they will be serving Blend burgers and the School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference and Fuel Up to Play 60’s leadership summit.
  • 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.
  • Districts in Massachusetts have partnered with a local meat company, Arnolds Meat Company, to pilot the blend. Several districts are predicted to order the Blend for school year 2016/2017 as a result of the pilot.
  • 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.
  • Maid Rite, a value added meat processor had launched a “Blend In to Stand Out” digital campaign to promote their Blended Burgers. So far over 150 burger samples have been requested.
  • 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 is underway to distribute in June. This issue features a guest article from Beth Weis, RD at Weis Markets about The Blend at retail.


Retail Dietitian Toolkit is completed. Marketing support for the Toolkit is ongoing via Retail Dietitians Business Alliance and owned channels.

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 will sponsor a webinar for retail dietitians through Retail Dietitians Business Alliance (RDBA) on June 30. We will present case studies on how retailers are implementing The Blend in their produce, meat and deli departments.

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

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

  • RD at Weis Markets hosted an in-store demo on May 21 featuring our Blend Turkey Tacos and handed out recipe cards to shoppers.


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.

Retail Marketing

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

The Blend at Retail involved working with the retailers and Kara. More details in Kara’s Supermarket Registered Dietitian shipping report.

Weis Markets sampled the Mushroom and Turkey Tacos in May. Many consumers took the Mushroom and Turkey Tacos with Salsa and Cotija Cheese recipe cards. The Council is in discussion to have The Blend placed in the deli department also.

The Council had a meeting with Emily Schwartz, Western Markets Regional Dietitian, to discuss potential Blend opportunities. Emily featured The Blend o her blog post and a TV segment, which will be covered in Kara’s report. The Blended buger pilot will be expanded company wide.

Doc’s Foods Stores (Country Mart, J&B Food, Apple Market) was the first retailer to launch and promote The Blend in their meat, deli and produce departments. The Blend introduction at Doc’s Food Stores was very successful in all three departments. Sales of mushroms increased and consumers came into their stores looking for the Blended patties. Every week during the month of June, The Blend Meatloaf will be the lunch item of the day in their stores.

The Mushroom Mania promotion also included a sales contest component. The department (deli, meat, produce) with the greatest increase in sales as the percentage of store size and store count will receive a cash prize. Doc’s Markets will provide a steak dinner for all employees in all the departments to the store with the best overall sales performance. Final sales information will be sent at the end of the promotion in June. The information will be developed into a case study. The store signage including the Infographics, posters and QR codes were all utilized and help publicize the event.

During Doc’s Mushroom Mania event, Blended burger samples (image on left) were given to the customers. The Blended beef patties were made fresh daily (image on right).

To help publicize the event, Harvest PR reached out to local media in Oklahoma to promote the stores’ Blend launch. The Tulsa Workd article went live on June 8th.  Click on the link to read the article: Mixing mushrooms into patties makes a healthier, more sustainable burger. The article highlights local J-M Farms and features four recipes along with quotes from Pete Erdogan, deli/bakery director.

A trade press release was distributed to the industry with an estimated 121,550 impressions.

  • The Packer – View Link
  • Progressive Grocer – View Link
  • Perishable NewsView Link
  • Fresh PlazaView Link

Doc’s Market featured mushrooms and the Blended Mushroom Burgers in their Weekly Circular Summertime Savings at Doc’s Country Mart. Promoting mushrooms (in produce department), hamburger (in the meat department) and meatloaf (in the deli) – the little green bubble near the meatloaf calls-out The Blend. The images below show the circular in full with enlarged images to highlight The Blend products, Blend information and locally grown mushrooms.

Kayla Womeldorff, Harmons Retail Dietitian, is meeting with their meat department in June. The Council had a meeting to promote The Blend to Kayla to make sure she had all the necessary information. The Dietitians at Harmons provide the Dietitian’s Choice items to the service case. Kayla wants to promote The Blend.

The Council met with Mariano’s to dicuss The Blend. The Council sent materials on the James Beard Foundation, Blend Burger materials, Retail Dietitian Toolkit Demo Guide and the toolkit. The Council will be working with Mariano’s to encourage and help them launch The Blend.


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

To promote The Blend, 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. A press release will be distributed to the press in June.

The Council is reviewing materials for a potential promotion with Kenwood Vineyards at retail. The promotion includes sampling opportunites, working with other partners including Weber Grills. This promotion would help expose The Blend to many more consumers. A follow-up meeting is scheduled for the end of June.

Updated Information

The promotion runs from June 3 – September 7, 2016.

The Mushroom Council and Beef Checkoff will be running the ad below in Savory Magazine, which is Ahold’s four-color, 80-page magazine distributed in-store. It is also available for download from a Savory app and the retailer website. The Summer Harvest Issue 4 will be distrbuted in-store on July 15th.  Each store receives a minimum of 750 magazines. The minimum estimated circulation is 245,250.

The Beef Check-off also created a video on how to prepare the Veal Blend and Portobello Mushroom Burger. Click here to view the video.

The Council launched an eblast promoting the Sweepstakes featuring the Veal and Portobello Mushroom Blend Burger.

The shared Pinterest Board with Veal recipes can be viewed here: Existing board:

The opt-in list of names from the Veal Mushroom Summer Grilling Promotion has been shared with the Council. This is a list of consumers who entered into the sweepstakes and also opted-in to receive communication from the Mushroom Council. The promotion started on June 3rd.  With less than a week, we had over 4,200 names.

A joint trade press release issued by The Beef Checkoff and the Mushroom Council was picked up by trade and consumer publications. The release had an estimated 1.4 million impressions. The consumer publication list below is only a partial list of where the release was picked-up.


Tracker Highlights from 4/17/2016

Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy

  • In the 4‐weeks – White mushrooms rise to new heights! Up +11%
  • In the 52‐weeks – Mushroom growth rate continues to pull further ahead of Total Produce

Click here for the full report

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