Monthly Shipping Report | March 2014
- A call for nominations for 3-year terms beginning January 1, 2015 was mailed. The regions with a position opening up are Region 1; all states except CA & PA (one position), Region 2; PA (one position) and Region 4; Importer (one position). 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. Nominations are due by May 1.
- The next Council meeting is being held on May 14-15, 2014 in Chicago. If you are interested in attending, please contact Cheryl@mushroomcouncil.org so we can make sure that you are accommodated.
- Grower meetings are being held in June.
June 4 – Hilton Garden Inn Hilton Garden Inn, 6070 Monterey Road, Gilroy, CA
RSVP to Cheryl@mushroomcouncil.org
June 27 – Hilton Garden Inn , 815 E. Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, PA
RSVP to Cheryl@mushroomcouncil.org
- 2014 Council Representatives:
- Region 1: All states except CA & PA
Pat Jurgensmeyer, J-M Farms; Vice Chair
Charles Bosi, Ostrom Mushroom Farms
- Region 2: PA
Jim Angelucci, Phillips Mushroom Farms
Dave Carroll, Giorgi Mushroom Company
Tony D’Amico, To-Jo Mushrooms; Chair
Gale Ferranto, Buona Foods; Treasurer
- Region 3: CA
Robert Murphy, Premier Mushrooms
Roberto Ramirez, Mountain Meadow Mushrooms
- Region 4: Importers
Liz O’Neil, Highline Mushrooms; Secretary
- Region 1: All states except CA & PA
- The February issue of the Mushrooms and Health Global Initiative Bulletin can be found here.
To see current charts click here.
Mushroom Council Marketing Summary – February 2014
- February consumer media highlights feature mushrooms in articles about Blendability, immunity, versatility and weight management. Click on the links below to view the full stories.
- Mushroom Mania, Weight Watchers, March/April 2014
- Boost Your Immunity All Day Long, Good Housekeeping, March 2014
- Can mushrooms really make me lose?, First For Women, March 2014
- The Truth About How Mushrooms Grow (VIDEO), Huffington Post, 2/25
- A Vegetarian Recipe for Mushroom Oat Cakes with Pecans, Meal Makeover Moms, 2/21
- Roasted Mushroom and Gruyere Toasts, Two Peas & Their Pod, 2/21
- 5 Foods for Healthy Breasts, ABC News, 2/21
- Mushrooms mighty tasty and healthy, Atlanta Journal Constitution, 2/18
- Recipes: 5 Healthy Takes on Classic Comfort Foods, Men’s Fitness, 2/18
- Winter Weary? 6 Ways to Cheer Up, AARP, 2/18
- Heart Smart Comfort Foods, WBAL-TV 11 (Baltimore, MD), 2/16
- Master the Mushroom, Martha Stewart Living, 2/15
- Chilies, Avocados, and Chocolate, Oh My! If This Be The Food of Love, Cook On, Everyday Health, 2/13
- Comfort Food Recipes Packed With Superfoods, SELF, 2/10
- Winter Barley Risotto with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Mushrooms, Kate Geagan, 2/10
- Kale & Mushroom Lasagna Rolls & Homemade Cashew Cheese, Candice Kumai, 2/6
- 6 Healthy Foods to Fight the Flu, Beat Stress and More, The Daily Beast, 2/5
- 24 Food Swaps That Slash Calories, Health, 2/4
- Following the momentum of the Mushrooms and Health Summit, outreach surrounding Council research and engagement with the Council’s nutrition network has driven numerous media placements in 2014 bringing awareness to the complete mushroom health story.
- An article titled Mushroom Mania in the March/April issue of Weight Watchers magazine features research notes from Beelman (selenium); Fulgoni, O’Neil and Nicklas (NHANES diet quality); and Cheskin (weight management); and highlights mushrooms as nutrient-dense; a source of vitamin D and potassium; umami and sodium-reducing properties; fiber and protein content; Blendability; Swapability; and culinary versatility.
- Following a mushroom session at Food3000 in Amsterdam among nutrition influencers, the Council’s continued communications with attendees spawned a flurry of media placements:
- Registered dietitian Carolyn O’Neil penned an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution citing Council research directly
- Chris Mohr, RD referenced the mushroom beef taco blend in a blog post on his website
- Cherry Creek Nutrition devoted a blog post to mushrooms as the star ingredient for a Weeknight Dinner Winner!, including the mushroom beef taco recipe
- Toby Smithson, RD, is including mushrooms in an upcoming column in The Daily Herald
- Lisa Dorfman, the Running Nutritionist, submitted a blog for the Performance Training Centers and included the mushroom taco recipe and Blendability messaging and benefits
- Meal Makeover Moms, Liz Weiss and Janice Bissex Newell, will be recording a podcast with Bart Minor
- The Council’s nutrition network has featured mushrooms and woven health messaging into current articles and platforms, including:
- Registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix featured mushrooms in her Everyday Health article this before she headed to Food3000 in Amsterdam.
- Kate Geagan extolled mushrooms’ health benefits to accompany a mushroom risotto recipe on her website
- Liz Ward (the Council’s first Blend spokesperson) shared her burger recipe and the benefits of Blendability in an article for Men’s Fitness
- Rebecca Scritchfield (resident Mushrooms and Health Summit nutrition blogger) filmed a segment about Heart Healthy Eats on local Baltimore news and featured mushroom Blendability
- In February, the Council implemented promoted Facebook posts to enhance seasonal content and to increase the reach of two Blendability posts. The combined posts received 3,095 likes, 445 shares, 33 comments and a total of 400,534 impressions.
PAID SUPPORT: This post received 213 shares in February
ORANIC: This post received 1,051 likes in February
- Through the Mushroom Mondays weekly e-newsletter, the Council continues to engage with and increase exposure among meatless/vegetarian and flexitarian audiences.
- The latest Mushroom Monday e-newsletter went out to 491 subscribers (an increase of 60 new subscribers in February) with an average click rate of 6.1 percent and an average open rate of 45.3 percent.
- Monthly Mushroom Monday Facebook posts reached over 113,000 people and generated a total of 2,197 likes and 1,847 shares.
- To date, the featured Mushroom Monday Pinterest board has 3,057 followers and 82 repins.
- The Council participated in one Twitter party hosted by Fruits and Veggies More Matters (PBH) to share mushroom key messages with other participants promoting the use of fresh mushrooms when cooking with canned food. This Twitter party reached 79 unique participants and resulted in a total of 2,733,046 impressions.
- The Kitchen Play network partnered with the Council to pilot test a new Equity Exchange Program. The premise of the program is for content (the Council’s messaging) to be shared with Kitchen Play’s network of bloggers, wherein interested bloggers take the opportunity to write a post with that content (mushrooms) in mind. The Council received four blog posts during the month of February, three featuring recipes, which garnered a total reach of 82,500 monthly page views, 8,728 Twitter followers, 7,300 Pinterest followers and 9,278 Facebook Likes.
- Throughout February, the Council promoted 11 mushroom foodservice menu items at restaurants including the Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano’s, BJ’s Restaurants, Rockit Bar & Grill, Outback Steakhouse, Houlihan’s, Potbelly, and TGI Friday’s. Twitter and Facebook have become key social channels for the Council to amplify foodservice promotions and connect with top chains on an ongoing basis.
— Mushroom Council (@MushroomChannel) February 4, 2014
- Noticing a rising number of users looking for inspiration for their Valentine’s Day dinner, the Mushroom Channel promoted the “Mushrooms for Valentine’s Day” Pinterest board created in 2013, to leverage existing content to garner 432 new social interactions (likes, repins). The popularity of seasonal boards on the Pinterest platform gives the Council ample opportunities to showcase the versatility of mushroom content to fit social trends.
- Search Engine Marketing drove approximately 14 percent of total visits to MushroomInfo.com.
- Top performing keywords included “mushroom recipe,” “stuffed mushrooms,” “vitamin D foods,” and “mushroom soup.”
- The Council refreshed the search campaign in February to apply new food trends and drive traffic to new Blendability recipes such as comfort-food favorite meatloaf. The meatloaf ads drove 136 clicks and 12,028 impressions.
- The Mushroom Channel published eight blog posts in February including three new seasonal recipes by 2014 blogger contributors. The two top posts received a total of 3,758 page views. The most visited posts included: Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce, Portabella and Halloumi “Burgers” from Food for My Family, and Mushroom Bolognese. Click here to read all February posts.
For more detailed social analytics download the NEW Social Analytics Report here.
On The Horizon
- During National Nutrition Month in March, the Council is partnering with the Mamavation network (an online weight loss support network for moms in social media) to engage participating bloggers in a Mushroom Meal Makeover Campaign to highlight mushrooms role in weight management.
- The Council will attend the Culinary Institute of America’s Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives conference in Napa California (March 13-16) to engage and create ambassadors among a new audience of influencers in the health and wellness sectors.
- The Council will be attending and exhibiting at the third annual Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) Building A Healthier Future Summit on childhood obesity (March 12-14).
- The Council will be attending the Oldways Supermarket RD Symposium in Scottsdale, Arizona (April 2-4) to engage with retail dietitians.
Blendability was the big news, not only in media, but on college campuses across the country. After our successful Mushroomapalooza at USC, promotions got into high gear on a variety of university campuses. While there were thousands and thousands of students that were reached through the promotions, most importantly, these students are the consumers of the future.
University of North Texas: A different version of Mushroom Mania swept into northern Texas as tens of thousands of students heard about the different varieties of mushrooms, why mushrooms are good for you and how mushrooms are grown. UNT held a Council-sponsored recipe contest among their chefs before that, and the judging for the event came during Mushroom Mania with Council Chef, Maneet Chuahan of the TV show “Chopt”, serving as the judge. Chef Chuahan also created a mushroom lunch for students to sample while she demonstrated one of her special mushroom creations which was videotaped by UNT and which will be available soon on our website. The program was an amazing success as UNT Dining wrote to the Council saying “…in 20 years at UNT, this was the best event we have ever been a part of…we touched the lives of our students in a positive way and today we made them smile.” Now with even more mushrooms on the menu, we hope students will continue to smile.
Yale: The Mushroom Council was at Yale’s Final Cut which is a student competition and promotion where students from the various Houses (think Harry Potter), compete in a culinary competition. Their main ingredient—the versatile mushroom. While the students cooked their dishes for the judges, the Council served a at least a thousand students a variety of sautéed mushrooms and answered questions about how mushrooms grow, the different varieties, nutritional benefits and other interesting facts about mushrooms.
University of Massachusetts: Mushroom Mania came to UMass, one of the top foodservice dining programs in the country for a full week. During the week, the Council sponsored sauté stations and several growing room action stations at dining halls throughout campus. At each dining hall, a number of mushroom dishes were featured that were so popular, they will be staying on the menu throughout the year. At every dorm, UMass menued a mushroom-meat slider as well as other blendable and meatless items. On the last day, the Council sponsored a celebrity chef demo with Council Chef Jehangir Mehta of Graffiti and Mehtaphor in New York City. At the demo, Chef Mehta showed how to cook his Graffiti burger which has been on his menu for years while Council representatives spoke about growing techniques and nutrition while answering questions from the large number of students in attendance
Stanford: At Stanford, the Council has been working with several of their celebrity chef brands, their Athletic Training Table and Mushroom Blendability. This month, Stanford introduced its version of the blendable burger, and for all of you aficionados of In and Out Burger and ”Animal Style”, you’ll notice why the named the burger accordingly.
In other activities, the Compass roll-out of Mushroom Blendability continued strong. Compass sponsored two major events that introduced regional operations to the concept. The Council was in attendance to answer questions and promote the internal recipe contest.
Compass also finally released information to the press about their initiative. In Food Management, as Compass’ Deanne Brandstetter said, “the idea is not to take meat away, but to naturally enhance the nutrition profile while not giving up taste. From a consumer standpoint, adding mushrooms to a burger could be perceived as adding juiciness and umami. See the full story here.
Food Management further did a companion article and slide show on Mushroom Blending and reported the following. “Blendability is a term that’s been catching on. When chefs blend meat with mushrooms, meaty dishes like burgers, meatloaf, beef burritos and meatballs can become a much healthier choice. The nutrition density of a dish goes up, it’s lower in cholesterol and calories and higher in Vitamin D, potassium and antioxidants. Not to mention just a great way to work more veggies into the dish. See the article here.
Just to show that mushrooms also are perfect for Meatless, the same publication, Food Management, featured a Mushroom Burger demo online by Chef Ian Thompson at Judson Smart Living in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
The Council spoke at two major national conferences this last month. At Menu Directions, a conference with hundreds of non-commercial chefs and operators, the Council’s Blendability presentation showcased the concept, the momentum the conference is generating and a Portabella-Mushroom burger demo by Chef Mehta. Chef Mehta was also with the Council at the Research Chefs Association doing a similar demo while the Council presented to product developers in a number of relevant industries.
On The Horizon
Next month, besides continuing to work with colleges and chain restaurants, the Council will be working with Disney line and operations chefs as well as presenting at two major regional NACUFS (National Association of College & University Food Services) meetings.
SCHOOL NUTRITION SUMMARY
Mushroom Council presented at the Vendor Showcase Lunch at the National School Food Focus conference in Oakland, California. School Food Focus is a national organization which is dedicated to increasing the healthfulness and availability of school lunch for students. They invited approximately 15 vendors who they believe offer solutions to the current challenges in the school lunch program. The Mushroom Council showcased blended burgers and blended turkey meatloaf.
- Mushroom Council began advertising in School Nutrition Magazine, CSI Food Pro e-blasts and on the School Nutrition Website to grow demand for USDA mushrooms and Fresh mushrooms in the National School Lunch Program before the busy March ordering period.
- The monthly E-Blast and blog posts highlighting mushrooms in school breakfast were shared with our school nutrition networks.
- Five new recipes were added to mushroomsinschool.org
- Communications with school meat processors have increased; two new companies are developing mushroom blended products.
- Council School Nutrition resources can be found here.
The Topline report week ending 01/26/14 was sent to the industry on 3/11/14; click here to access the report online.
Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy
- Total Mushrooms 4 week dollar sales trend of +6.5% continued to lift the 52 week dollar sales trend up to +4.1% for Total U.S.
- This +6.5% growth rate outpaced Total Produce’s growth trend (+6.4%) for the first time in over a year
- White mushrooms continue to make a comeback and posted a positive dollar gain during the current 4 week period at +1.9%. See below for more information on these category trends
Total Mushrooms – 4 Weeks
- The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +6.5% outpaced Total Produce’s growth trend (+6.4%) by +0.1 point
- The Northeast Region led in dollar growth rate at +11.7%. Plains came in second, at +7.4%
- On a Market basis, Harrisburg/Scranton posted very strong dollar growth at +26.7% (a large gain on a smaller base). Only two Markets posted declines: Buffalo/Rochester (-2.9%) and Raleigh/Greensboro (-1.4%)
- Volume in pounds for the Total U.S. increased by +5.5%. Northeast led with the largest Regional increase in volume at +14.0%. California posted the only decrease, at -2.0%
- At the Market level, New York showed the largest increase in volume at +33.2%
Segment/Variety – 4 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales of the White segment grew +1.9%, while Brown mushrooms grew +15.4% overall
- Creminis showed an increase at +10.4%, while Portabellas posted strong growth, up +29.1%
- On a Regional basis, Northeast showed the largest White segment gain at +8.7%. Southeast was the only Region to post a decline, at -1.1%
- The Brown segment saw double-digit dollar sales growth in seven of eight Regions with South Central leading at +21.3%
- At the Market level, White segment dollar trends were mixed with 27 of 50 Markets posting gains. Harrisburg/Scranton posted the largest gain at +18.6%, while Raleigh/Greensboro posted the largest decrease at -4.9%. In the Brown segment, 48 of 50 Markets posted strong gains, including Harrisburg/Scranton (+45.4%) and Kansas City (+45.0%)
- Total U.S. volume in pounds for the White segment increased +0.8%, while the Brown segment saw overall volume growth of +18.1%, driven by Portabella mushrooms at +43.4%
- On a Regional basis, the White segment delivered strong volume gains in the Northeast at +9.7%, while South Central posted the largest White segment volume decline at -4.8%
- In the Brown segment, Great Lakes led Regional volume growth at +28.9%. California showed the only decrease at -1.2%
Total Mushrooms – 52 Weeks
- The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +4.1% lagged Total Produce’s growth trend of +7.9% by -3.8 points
- Plains (7.0% dollar share) led the Regions with the top dollar sales trend of +8.6%, while Northeast holds the largest dollar share (20.8%) and grew +1.7%. All Regions posted gains
- Most Markets experienced dollar growth, notably Milwaukee (+16.6%), Omaha (+13.7%), and Cincinnati/Dayton (+12.1%)
- Total U.S. mushroom volume in pounds grew +4.2%
- All Regions delivered volume growth, led by Plains at +7.4% and West at +6.1%
- Only seven of 50 Markets saw downward volume trends, including Cleveland (-3.4%) and San Francisco (-3.1%)
Segment/Variety – 52 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales for the White segment grew +1.0%, with Plains (+4.0%) and California (+3.2%) posting the largest gains. In the Brown segment, dollar sales were up +10.3% in Total U.S. Seven Regions posted positive trends with five Regions in the double-digits
- Brown segment dollar trends were driven by Portabella mushrooms, which hold a 30.7% dollar share of Browns and delivered sales growth of +32.8%
- At the Market level, dollar sales trends in the White segment varied, ranging from an increase of +13.0% in Milwaukee to a -7.6% decline in Raleigh/Greensboro
- The Brown segment saw very strong dollar sales gains across 45 of 50 Markets, with Denver leading at +36.2%. Hartford/Springfield showed a decline of -6.9
- Total U.S. volume in pounds of White mushrooms grew +1.5%, with gains seen in Plains (+5.0%), Northeast (+4.0%), West (+2.6%), California (+2.3%) and Southeast (+1.6 %). Total U.S. volume in pounds of Brown mushrooms grew +11.3%, led by South Central, with growth of +25.4%
- Brown segment volume growth trends were driven by Portabella mushrooms which have a 28.3% volume share of Browns and delivered volume growth of +38.2%
- As with dollars, the Market level volume trends for the White segment were mixed, with 27 Markets trending upward including Milwaukee (+13.2%) and New York (+10.8%)
- The volume trend of Brown mushrooms fared better, with only five Markets trending downward. San Francisco (-14.7%) and Sacramento (-11.6%) posted the largest losses
- Strong volume growth in the Brown segment occurred in these Markets: Salt Lake City (+32.9%), New Orleans/Mobile (+30.9%), Houston (+30.0%) and Milwaukee (+30.0%)
- Blue Print for Profit:
- The Market Insights Retail Sales Tool and Updated Blueprint for Profit are now available for use. The information can be found here.
- Swap It or Top It Retail Display Contest:
- Information was shared with the industry on February 19, 2014. Materials for the contest can be found here.