Monthly Shipping Report | March 2015
- Michael Stephan of Monterey Mushrooms; Victoria, MN was recently appointed to the Council by the Secretary of Agriculture to fill the vacancy in Region 1.
- The next Council meeting is May 13-14 in Nashville, TN. If you plan on attending, please email Cheryl@mushroomcouncil.org so we can make sure you are accommodated.
- Nominations: A call for nominations for 3-year terms beginning January 1, 2016 was mailed on February 2, 2015. Regions with a position opening up are Region 2; PA (two positions) and Region 3 (one position). Please consider being a part of the Council.
- Mushroom Council Seeks Nominees – The Packer
- 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.
Mushroom Council Marketing Summary – February 2015
- The flavor that keeps you trim, Health, 2/1
- Get to Know the Mysterious Mushroom, Yahoo! Food, 2/1
- Health Tip: Adding Mushrooms to Your Meals, U.S. News & World Report, 2/4
- Mushroom conference spotlights blending, The Packer, 2/4
- How Eating the Rainbow Can Bring You Closer to Your Weight Loss Goals, Shape, 2/12
- Mushrooms show off their healthful side in Ellie Krieger’s rustic pasta dish, Washington Post, 2/12
- Unlocking the Secrets of Flavor with Umami, ABC “Nightline,” 2/18
- Five ways to eat yourself healthier, CNN, 2/18
- A Wet and Wild Look Inside the ‘Mushroom Houses’ Of a Fungi Farm, NPR’s food blog, the Salt, 2/19
- Super Foods That Will Boost Your Beauty, CBS New York, 2/20
- The 12 Ingredients Your Kitchen Should Never Be Without, Real Simple, 2/23
- The glory of mushrooms, Sacramento Bee, 2/25
- 11 food sources of Vitamin D, About.com, 2/28
- Ellie Krieger, registered dietitian and chef, proclaimed her love for mushrooms’ meaty flavor in a Washington Post article that has earned continued syndication across multiple outlets.
- This month, the Council brought new food and nutrition influencers into the mushroom fold including the author and Food Network chef behind January’s hit AP story and a reporter who recently highlighted the nutrition benefits of fresh mushrooms.
- The Mushroom Channel published two blogger recipes with 2.7K+ page views and accounted for 10 percent of all website referral traffic in February.
- NPR’s prominent food blog, The Salt, featured a dedicated article on mushrooms’ versatility and popularity.
- The Advisory Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) was released in February, presenting new research and data to inform the development of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans which are expected to be released later this year. Of particular importance for the mushroom industry, the report included:
- Support of plant-based diets and reduction of sodium and saturated fat
- Suggestions for incentivizing vegetable and fruit production and consumption
- Vitamin D & potassium recognized as nutrients of concern, which means they are under consumed in the American diet—also a recommendation for vitamin D fortified foods
- For the first time, the Committee has documented a definition for sustainable diets which includes those that are higher in plant-based foods, lower in calories and animal-based foods
- The Mushroom Channel engaged with four foodservice partners including Panera Bread, Old Spaghetti Factory, Bravo! Cucina Italiana and the Culinary Institute of America.
- Three, promoted Facebook posts included content promoting blend burgers and the new blend video. Reached 212K+ people and garnered 27.8k+ engagements.
- To encourage and educate consumers about the blend, the Council created a 30-second how-to blend video that has been shared broadly across social and traditional media.
- The Awards party Facebook post was one of the highest-reaching and engaged-with pieces of content on the Mushroom Channel’s Facebook community since the page was launched.
- Search ad words accounted for 11 percent of total visits to mushroominfo.com in February. Top performing paid keywords included: mushroom recipes, stuffed mushrooms and vitamin D foods.
For more detailed social analytics download the NEW Social Analytics Report here.
February Foodservice focused on activation of The Blend, work with restaurant chains, preparing for three major speaking events and planning with James Beard Foundation on a major Blend promotion beginning in May. In March, The Mushroom Council will be presenting to chain dietitians, top non-commercial operators and both The National Association of College and University Food Service (NACUFS) Pacific and Midwest regions.
University of Southern California: While we have already reported on Mushroomapalooza 2.0 at University of Southern California, we are planning to follow up with training for the chefs so that when the school year begins in August, The Blend will be featured everywhere—from all the retail establishments to the dining halls. USC used significant social media to support the promotion, while The Mushroom Council blogged and tweeted about the event.
University of Massachusetts: Mushroom Mania revisited UMASS, which is noted for the best foodservice program in the nation according to Princeton Review. At least 35 mushrooms dishes were created by the staff at UMASS at two different dining halls. At one, there was a Better Burger station with four Blended Burgers—a salmon-mushroom burger, a Moroccan turkey burger, a Latin pork burger and an Indian-inspired Graffiti burger. The event ended with a mushroom tasting menu for all those who reserved a space at UMASS’ University Club with cooking and demos conducted by Chef Jehangir Mehta. The U Club was sold out for the first time and people had to be turned away.
Other Universities: A number of other universities conducted promotions in February. Two OSUs were active while we set up promotions and training at other universities. Ohio State University introduced The Blend while Oklahoma State University showcased Mushrooms in its Farm to Table event. Washington State and several other universities continued their integration of mushrooms in their Performance Dining programs for athletes. Washington State, Stanford and USC will present their finding and show how athletes loved and needed mushrooms at the NACUFS Pacific Region conference in March.
Chain Launches: A number of chains introduced mushroom limited time offers in February that will continue through March. Krystal added a mushroom burger to its line. Gordon Biersch and Veggie Grill introduced new appetizers. Veggie Grill was a new Crispy Portabella with spices and ranch dressing while Gordon Biersch is offering House-made Chips smothered in Gorgonzola, garlic cream sauce with prosciutto, crimini mushrooms and chardonnay-marinated figs.
SCHOOL NUTRITION SUMMARY
- IQF Mushrooms for direct delivery were added to the USDA Foods Available Catalogue. They are listed in the catalogue as the following: “110421- Mushrooms. They can be used for either direct delivery or processing.”
- The Council is developing a case study for use of the IQF diced blend in district kitchens with the help of Savanah Public Schools. An information fact sheet and memo will be shared with the Council’s school nutrition network after completion.
- Farm to School mushrooms were featured in promotions in Philadelphia Public Schools and San Diego Public Schools. A blend pilot is planned for Portland Public Schools to test the blend burger, blend pasta and mushroom pizza for the week of March 16th. Council reps are working on a spring mushroom blend promotion in the Cypress-Fairbanks (Houston) district for the spring.
- Council reps are planning for a blend test in Washington D.C. with Chartwells. Meetings have been planned for a partnership with Sodexo to utilize the sesame street characters in their school nutrition program.
- Approximately 100 districts requested blend product samples as a result of the Council’s partnership with JTM in the CSI Virtual Trade Show.
- All recipes on mushroomsinschools.com are currently being updated to meet changing meal pattern requirements. You can view the updated recipes and resources here.
The Council is collecting targeted retail chain’s strategies for their overall business as well as their Health and Wellness programs. This will allow the Council to develop a customized approach and messaging for individual retailers when introducing them to the Blend. By aligning the Council’s program and resources with the retailer’s stated goals will improve the likelihood of success with the grocery chains.
The Council’s sights are currently focused on targeting small to mid-sized regional retailers (on both coasts) for the introduction of pilot programs in grocery chain’s deli, foodservice and meat departments.
The new retail-focused website (MushroomsAtRetail.com) is nearing launch with layout and copy almost completed. The site will act as a repository of retail materials and information (including Supermarket Dietitian materials and guides). The site will also act as a sales tool to introduce retailers to the features, benefits and opportunities of mushrooms and The Blend. The site will also provide information of the resource and support provided by the Council.
The Council is also building awareness of the Blend with the trade through other communication means. Currently in progress is a presentation for the United Ag Annual Conference in March. The Council will be one of the two presentation will feature mushrooms and The Blend as important food and retail trends for 2015. Retail trade outreach through articles and P.R. on publications is also currently in development.
The Council has been preparing mushroom and Blend materials for Supermarket Dietitians that will be distributed at the Oldways Symposium in St. Petersburg, Florida in mid-March. The event encourages networking and provides the Council with an opportunity to connect with dietitians from multiple retail chains and to learn more about the retailer’s Health and Wellness programs. It also affords the Council the opportunity to introduce the dietitian to the nutrition and sales benefits of The Blend.
The Council is reaching out to potential co-marketing partners to promote both mushrooms and The Blend with complementary products (both fresh and packaged). Through this effort the Council will build awareness and sales of mushrooms and The Blend. The Council is also building promotional concepts and plans to share with potential partners to encourage participation.
- Created Q1 edition of “Nutrition News About Mushrooms” Newsletter which included an update on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, results from the Today’s Dietitian survey, research findings from Nutrition Today, RD media placement highlights, and a new consumer-facing fact sheet about the Blend.
- The Retail RD Toolkit which includes a letter to Supermarket RDs, a Demo Guide, and a consumer-facing Blend fact sheet, was finalized and will be distributed at Oldways in March.
Retail (Supermarket RD)
- Oldways Symposium preparation and materials. The Council will present The Blend to Supermarket Dietitians at the Oldways Symposium in March (St. Petersburg, FL). Attendees will also be served a meal that consists of Blend Burgers and other mushroom recipes. Afterward the Council will meet with attendees to provide information to introduce The Blend at Retail. The Council will fact-find to determine and refine information about specific retail chains to improve targeting of pilot programs.
- Mushroom Council Seeks Nominees – The Packer
The Topline report week ending 1/25/2015 was sent to the industry on 3/09/2015; click here to access the report online.
Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy
Total Mushrooms – 4 Weeks
- The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +2.6% lagged Total Produce’s growth of +3.6% by -1.0 point
- California led in dollar growth rate at +8.4%; Great Lakes posted the largest decline at -5.5%
- On a Market basis, Albany posted strong dollar growth of +14.2%. Chicago posted the largest decline, down -26.4%
- Total U.S. Organic dollar sales grew +2.8%, driven by California (+67.9%) which holds an 17.1% share of total Organic dollars
- Volume in pounds for Total U.S. increased +2.2% and California led the Regions with a volume increase of +9.5%. Plains volume declined -10.2%
- At the Market level, Grand Rapids showed the largest volume increase at +16.9%
- Total U.S. Organic volume was flat while Organic volume decreased -20.9% in Great Lakes which holds a 42.1% share of total Organic volume
Segment/Variety – 4 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales of the White segment increased +1.2%, while Brown mushrooms exhibited growth of +3.5%
- Cremini mushrooms grew dollar sales +4.6% and Portabellas increased +1.1%
- On a Regional basis, Midsouth led the Regions in White mushroom dollar growth, up +10.6%
- Brown mushrooms posted growth in five of eight regions. Midsouth dollars declined -7.6%, while dollars in California grew +11.8%
- White segment dollars were down in 14 of 49 Markets with results ranging from an increase of +19.5% in Raleigh/Greensboro to a decline of -39.9% in Chicago. In the Brown segment, 24 of 49 Markets posted strong gains, including Hartford/Springfield (+28.0%), Philadelphia (+21.2%) and New York (+16.9%)
- Total U.S. volume in pounds for the White segment was flat, while the Brown segment saw overall volume growth of +6.1%, driven by Cremini mushrooms, up +11.2%
- In the Brown segment, Great Lakes led Regional volume growth at +15.9%. Midsouth declined -8.0%
Total Mushrooms – 52 Weeks
- The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +2.6% lagged Total Produce’s growth trend of +4.0% by -1.4 points
- California (12.3% dollar share) and Midsouth (10.8% dollar share) led the Regions with the top dollar sales trend of +4.5%. Northeast holds the largest dollar share (20.8%), but grew only +2.4%. Great Lakes and Plains were flat
- Most Markets experienced dollar growth, notably Omaha (+8.0%), Philadelphia (+7.6%) and Houston (+7.4%)
- Total U.S. Organic dollar sales grew +20.8%, driven by California (+54.8%) which holds a 13.7% share of total Organic dollars
- Total U.S. mushroom volume in pounds grew +2.0%
- Seven of eight Regions delivered volume growth, led by Midsouth at +4.8% Plains declined -3.6%
- Only ten of 49 Markets saw downward volume trends, including Pittsburgh (-3.4%) and Milwaukee (-3.3%)
- Organic volume increased +18.3%, driven by California (+67.8%) which holds a 10.1% share of total Organic volume
Segment/Variety – 52 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales for the White segment were flat, while Midsouth (+4.2%), California (+3.5%), and South Central (+2.5%) posted the only gains.
- In the Brown segment, Total U.S. dollar sales were up +5.8%. All Regions posted positive trends
- Total U.S. Brown segment dollar trends were driven by Portabella mushrooms, which hold a 32.5% dollar share of Browns and delivered sales growth of +12.1%
- At the Market level, dollar sales trends in the White segment ranged from an increase of +9.1% in Sacramento to a -7.4% decline in Jacksonville
- The Brown segment saw very strong dollar sales gains across 45 of 49 Markets, with Detroit leading at +13.2%. Sacramento showed the largest decline of -11.5%
- Total U.S. volume in pounds of White mushrooms was flat, but growth was seen in Midsouth (+3.8%) and California (+3.1%)
- Total U.S. volume in pounds of Brown mushrooms grew +7.7%, led by Southeast with growth of +10.8%
- Total U.S. Brown segment volume growth trends were driven by Portabella mushrooms which have a 30.5% volume share of Browns and delivered volume growth of +16.3%
- As with dollars, the Market level volume trends for the White segment were mixed, with 15 Markets trending upward including Charlotte (+14.2%) and Raleigh/Greensboro (+10.1%)
- The volume trend of Brown mushrooms fared better, with only Sacramento (-11.2%), Buffalo/Rochester (-6.9%), WestTex/New Mexico (-2.9%) and Pittsburgh (-2.5%) trending downward.
- Strong volume growth in the Brown segment occurred in these Markets: Philadelphia (+22.8%), Detroit (+20.5%) and Grand Rapids (+19.4%)