Shipping Reports

Monthly Shipping Report | March 2013

March 27, 2013


  • The Mushroom Council continues to build on its successful nutrition research and promotion effort. Expanding into colleges and universities and now into the school lunch program appears to be adding a new dimension to the Council’s outreach efforts that look promising.  Come hear about recent accomplishments and programs relative to the Council’s consumer, foodservice and retail category management efforts and offer your feedback to your Council representatives.This year’s guest speaker:  Greg Drescher, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Industry Leadership, Culinary Institute of America (CIA). The CIA is one of the larger recipients of Mushroom Council investment funds. Why is this single organization such an important strategic partner of the Mushroom Council? What vital role did they play in helping the Council launch the Blend Trend? What other innovative ideas and strategic counsel might the mushroom industry expect from this top-chef-think-tank in the future? Greg will explain the above and answer any questions you might have for him.

    This presentation is to be followed by a brief program review by Mushroom Council President Bart Minor and Marketing Coordinator Katie Preis. We will conclude with a direct dialogue between you, the investors in this industry-wide effort, and your representatives, who ultimately guide the form that investment takes.The value of the Council to the industry is strengthened by industry input and support; please attend and offer your point of view.The following is a schedule of meetings.

    Please RSVP to [email protected] or (408)432-7210 so we can plan resources accordingly.

*Please note: the link is for registering for the webinar only; it does not provide access to the webinar. After registering you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing a link to join the Webinar.

  • 2013 Council Representatives:
    • Region 1:
      Pat Jurgensmeyer, J-M Farms; Treasurer
      Fletcher Street, Ostrom Mushroom Farms; Chair
    • Region 2:
      Jim Angelucci, Phillips Mushroom Farms
      Dave Carroll, Giorgi Mushroom Company
      Tony D’Amico, To-Jo Mushrooms; Vice Chair
      Gale Ferranto, Buona Foods
    • Region 3:
      Joe Caldwell, Monterey Mushrooms
      Roberto Ramirez, Mountain Meadow Mushrooms
    • Region 4:
      Liz O’Neil, Highline Mushrooms; Secretary
  • The next Council meeting is being held on Saturday, June 22, 2013 in conjunction with the NAMC in Vancouver. If you would like to attend this meeting please contact Cheryl so we can make sure you are accommodated.
  • A call for nominations for 3-year terms beginning January 1, 2014 was mailed on February 1, 2013.  The regions with a position opening up are Region 1 (one position); Region 2 (one position) and Region 3 (one position). Completed forms are due no later than May 1. 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.



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To see current charts through December 2012 click here.



Mushroom Council Marketing Summary – February 2013

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Marketing Summary

  • From March 6-8, Council representatives attended the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) “Building a Healthier Future Summit” in Washington D.C. to announce the Council’s multi-year commitment with PHA to help reduce childhood obesity by bringing more vegetables to the plates of American families. Council Chair Fletcher Street introduced this video to reveal the Council’s commitment, showcasing how healthier, delicious meals are possible with mushrooms. The announcement was covered by The Packer and Perishable News.
  • As a reminder,the Council is partnering once again with Taste of Home for the 2012 Spring Cooking School series. Cooking schools run from March until June, and all industry members are invited to attend. If you are interested in attending, click here to see the schedule and to find one located near you and email [email protected] to reserve tickets.  
  • Search Engine Marketing increased traffic to by 144 percent and daily page views by 244 percent since launching in May 2011.
    • Search Engine Marketing drove more than 17,500 visits to during February 2013, and was the largest source driving return visitors to the site.
    • Top performing keywords include “mushroom recipe,” “stuffed mushrooms” and “vitamin D foods.”


  • Monthly fan growth on Facebook increased by 28 percent and Facebook generated more than 3.6 million impressions in February through community engagement. The platform was also the second largest source driving return visitors to, with nearly 2,000 visits in February.
  • Monthly fan growth on Twitter increased by four percent since January resulting in 774,539 impressions. Twitter followers increased by two percent over January through direct engagement and participation in a Twitter chat promoting Heart Health Month.
  • Pinterest followers increased by 28 percent since January and generated 1.6 million impressions. Pinterest also drove nearly 4,000 visits to in February.
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On the Horizon

  • In April, the Council will field the annual Today’s Dietitian survey to gather and benchmark registered dietitians’ attitudes towards mushrooms.
  • Three different abstracts will be presented at Experimental Biology in late April sharing research results about mushrooms and vitamin D and immunity.


Marketing Summary

Blendability (or Swapability) and kids is a major focus for theCouncil.  We are working with a top 10 chain to explore opportunities for mushrooms on their kids menu.  At the same time, the Council is pursuing opportunities again with Universal Studios to expand their present Blendable items into other areas, as well as looking at new opportunities with Disney. 

Recipes from FLIK schools are beginning to be submitted.  All recipes are due at the end of this month and range from categories like sandwiches to entrees to breakfasts and blendable items.  Chefs from FLIK featured an entire week of mushrooms on their menus.  Students judged which items were the best, and those are the ones that are being submitted.  Final judging will be held on April 25

Demos on blendability are scheduled or are being scheduled at Texas A&M, Washington University, University of California at Berkeley, Stanford and University of Massachusetts and emphasize all regions.

On The Horizon

More research will be upcoming on the growth of mushrooms in the foodservice industry.  Final research on naming blendable or swapable items on the menu will be available as well.   The Council is working with a variety of chains on new menus and promotions.  Several CIA partnership events are coming up in the next several months.

Industry Tools

Last week the Council conducted its Foodservice and Retail Webinar with a number of industry representatives participating.  There, and subsequently through an email to the industry, we discussed new research that showed how mushrooms were growing in foodservice in virtually every part, every cuisine and with virtually every menu item….from burgers to pastas to eggs.  Research is also available that showcases many of the key LTOs (Limited Time Offers) that were promoted at restaurant chains in the second half of 2012.  That research is housed on the website at:



  • A document outlining the school market opportunity for mushrooms and steps shippers can take to sell to schools was presented during the March 5th Swapability Webinar. The relevant ‘How To’ sheets can be found here on the school nutrition section of
  • Council representatives worked with a meat processor to develop a school foodservice mushroom and beef blended burger product formula. The formula was reviewed by the USDA and received a Child Nutrition Label which includes a 1/4 cup vegetable credit when served with 1/8 cup additional vegetable.
  • Council has requested a pilot program from the USDA. The pilot program will test a mushroom beef burger in select state school districts. They will test for acceptability among students and kitchen staff.
  • Mushroom Council representatives are currently working with several school districts throughout the country to develop mushroom swapability pilot programs. Pilot programs in St Louis, Kansas City and South Bend are beginning in April 2013.
  • Council representatives will be attending the American Commodity Distribution Association’s Annual Conference to further educate stakeholders on the benefits mushrooms bring to the National School Lunch Program.
  • The Partnership for Healthier America commitment strongly focuses on the Council’s 2013-2016 school nutrition efforts. Council representatives introduced the blended concept to many potential pilot opportunities at the Partnership for Healthier America summit. The announcement of the commitment was shared in all relevant trade press including the School Nutrition magazine.
  • Council School Nutrition resources can be found here.



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The Topline report week ending 01/27/13 was sent to the industry on 03/13/2013; click here to access the report online.

Important Changes:
This is the first Topline Report that incorporates our newly expanded retail data.
This new data reflects sales and volume from major produce retailers such as Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target and BJ’s. This new data is being united with the traditional grocery data we have utilized in previous reports. This new combined data is called MULO, which stands for Multi-Outlet stores. In addition to new retailers reflected in the report, we also now have an expanded list of markets.

What does this mean to you?
More retail data and more markets means you now see a more comprehensive view of the produce market and that the sales numbers reflected in many markets will appear larger or different than in the previous reports. You may even witness a new direction in some retail trends with the expansion of this data set. Because of these changes, you cannot easily compare these new reports to reports of the past.


Total Mushrooms – 4 Weeks

  • The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +4.1%  lags Total Produce’s growth trend (+8.2%) by half (-4.1 points)
  • On a regional basis, the Plains and Great Lakes posted the strongest percentage dollar increases at +12.2% and 7.5%
    •  Only the Northeast Region posted a decline, at -2.6%
  • On a market basis, Milwaukee delivered the top dollar sales trend at +21.1% (a large gain on a smaller base),  while New York and Harrisburg/Scranton both experienced double-digit declines at -16.2% and -16.7%
  • Volume in pounds for the Total U.S. increased by +3.0%, with all regions witnessing an increase, with the exception of the Northeast (-5.4%)
  •  In the markets, Milwaukee and Minneapolis/St. Paul  had the greatest percentage gains at +28.8% and +21.3%
    • Among major markets Los Angeles delivered the top growth rate in volume, increasing +12.8%
    •  The steepest decline occurred in New York (-22.7%)


Segment/Variety – 4 Weeks

  • Total U.S. dollar sales of the White segment experienced an overall  decline in the U.S. of -0.9% while Brown mushrooms  grew by +12.7% overall, (Cremini increased by +6% and Portabella by +36.%)
  • Total U.S. volume in pounds for the White segment decline -1.7%  while the Brown segments saw an increase of +13.5% (lead by Portabella mushrooms at +40.4% and Cremini at 7.2%)
  • On a regional basis, California once again delivered the top dollar sales trend (+5.8%) for the White segment, while the Northeast region fell -10.6%
  •  The Brown segment saw impressive dollar sales increases across all regions except the Northeast (-1.5%)
    •  California increased by +8.7%, with other regions all reaching double-digit growth
  • On a market basis, Whites had the greatest dollar sales trend in Minneapolis/St. Paul (+10.7%) while New York and Philadelphia both declined (-33.3% and -21.9%)
  • Sales and volume in pounds of the Brown segment witnessed strong increases in most markets


Total Mushrooms – 52 Weeks

  • The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +2.5% lags the Total Produce growth trend (+3.6%) by -1.1 point.
  • On a regional basis, the Northeast holds the largest dollar share (21%) while the Southeast leads the regions with the top dollar sales trend of +4.5%
    • All regions except California (-1.4%) experienced positive growth over the past 52 week period
  •  Total U.S. volume grew +2.1%
    • All regions  witnessed growth with the exception of the Great Lakes, which remained flat, while the West had the greatest percentage increase at +5.6%
  •  In the market rankings of dollars, many markets experienced sales growth, led by  Cleveland and Columbus,  up by +12.9% and +11.7%
  •  Market rankings by volume were led by Salt Lake and Jacksonville (both +8.4%),  Minneapolis/St. Paul at +7.4% and Boston at +6.4%
    •  The greatest decline occurred in New York (-6.0%)


Segment/Variety – 52 Weeks

  • Total U.S. dollar sales for the White segment saw declines in all regions except the Southeast (+1.4%).  The California region declined the most at -3.1%
  • Total U.S volume of White mushrooms also experienced an overall decline (-1.5%), with only three regions experiencing an increase in pounds: California (+1.7%), Plains (+1.2%) and the Southeast (+0.2%)
  • While the White segment declined, Brown mushroom  sales saw strong growth (+11.3% nationwide in dollars and +12.8% in volume.
  •  The Brown segment experienced dollar and volume  growth in every region with the West increasing pounds by +31.5%
    •  The Northeast, the largest region in retail sales and volume, increased Brown dollar sales by +12.4% and volume by +11.5%
  • Dollar sales of Cremini and Portabella have increased in every region
    • Cremini mushrooms are up +10.9% nationwide, while Portabellas have increased +12.5%
  • While many markets declined in the sales and volume of White mushrooms, nearly every market increased in the Brown segment
    • Sales of Brown mushrooms in major markets: New York +12.2%, Los Angeles +4.2%, Baltimore/Washington +5.4
  • Only San Francisco experienced a decline (-1.9%)
    • Volume of Brown mushrooms grew in all but two markets: Grand Rapids (-2.9%) and San Francisco (-7.3%)
    • Strong volume increases with the brown segment occurred in these markets: Phoenix/Tucson +53.9%, Denver +37.5%, New Orleans/Mobile +37.4%

Marketing Summary

  • A Mushrooms on the Menu summary was communicated to appear in a spring issue of Produce Business
  • Communications surrounding the Council’s Partnership for Healthier America summit were distributed to appear in March issues.
  • Mushrooms On The Menu – Produce Business February 2013

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