Monthly Shipping Report | March 2016
- The Council office has moved! Our new address is 303 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 600, Redwood Shores, CA 94065; (650) 632-4250.
- The next Council meeting is July 12-13, 2016 in Minneapolis, MN. If you plan on attending, please email Cheryl@mushroomcouncil.org so we can make sure you are accommodated.
- Nominations for the 2017 open Council positions were mailed on February 1, 2016. Positions opening up are Region 1 (one position) Region 2; PA (one position) and Region 3 (one position). Please consider being a part of the Council.
- 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.
Mushroom Council First Handler Reports (millions of pounds; totals may not match due to rounding).
To see current charts, click here.
Mushroom Council Marketing Summary – February 2016
Mushrooms appeared in a variety of regional and national lifestyle, business and trade outlets with articles highlighting mushroom recipes, pairings and nutrition. The Sodexo announcement garnered some consumer attention this month with the Daily Meal including a quote from Lisa Feldman and noting last year’s Blended Burger Project. Of note, Food Republic, about.com and EatingWell highlighted The Blend, with EatingWell featuring “a lighter take one meatballs” with their Buffalo Chicken Meatball recipe and Food Republic and about.com showcasing blended burgers.
Please see below for a snapshot of links to online and print coverage:
|2/2/2016||TODAY||Brown Butter Mushroom and Sage Ravioli|
|2/2/2016||About.com||Caramelized Onion and Parmesan Burgers|
|2/2/2016||Twin Cities Times||Add a Healthy Twist to Your Favorite Foods|
|2/4/2016||Kitchen Monki||Mushroom Beef Sloppy Joes|
|2/8/2016||Detroit News||A lighter take on meatballs|
|2/1/2016||What to eat when||PREGNANCY & NEWBORN||View Article|
|2/1/2016||Super sliders||LANSING STATE JOURNAL||View Article|
|2/1/2016||Cavatini Pasta with Mushrooms||CAROLINA COUNTRY||View Article|
|2/1/2016||Mushrooms||MUSCLE & FITNESS||View Article|
|2/1/2016||Where’s the Beef?||COASTAL VIRGINIA MAGAZINE||View Article|
|2/1/2016||10 ways to turn your pasta into dinner||LANSING STATE JOURNAL||View Article|
|2/1/2016||WELCOME TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LIFE MAGAZINES Fabulous Food Issue!||SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LIFE||View Article|
|2/1/2016||Be a Flexible Fryer||EATING WELL||View Article|
|2/1/2016||Eat Like a Viking||MUSCLE & FITNESS||View Article|
|2/1/2016||PARIS HOME COOKING WITH DAVID LEBOVITZ||FOOD & WINE||View Article|
|2/1/2016||CHICKEN COOKBOOK WEEKEND WARRIOR||COOKING LIGHT||View Article|
|2/1/2016||In the SUNSET KITCHEN||SUNSET MAGAZINE||View Article|
|2/1/2016||HOW TO FEED A COLD||DR. OZ THE GOOD LIFE||View Article|
|2/1/2016||HEALTHY FAMILY DINNERS||FAMILY CIRCLE MAGAZINE||View Article|
|Print Placements (continued)|
|2/1/2016||MEET YOUR NEW FLAME||Real Simple (NY,NY)||View Article|
|2/1/2016||30 MINUTE MEALS||EVERY DAY WITH RACHAEL RAY||View Article|
|2/1/2016||Easy, healthy, slimming||SHAPE MAGAZINE||View Article|
|2/1/2016||FLIP YOUR PROTEIN||COOKING LIGHT||View Article|
|2/3/2016||Polenta simple, satisfying comfort food||PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN||View Article|
|2/3/2016||SUPER FOODS||PALM BEACH POST||View Article|
|2/4/2016||A lighter take on meatballs||DETROIT NEWS||View Article|
|2/4/2016||Add a Healthy Twist to Your Favorite Foods||ATLANTA VOICE||View Article|
|2/15/2016||Food Love||SELF||View Article|
|2/17/2016||Mushrooms deepen the flavor of pasta dish||IDAHO STATESMAN||View Article|
|2/18/2016||Mushroom soup recipe can be modified to meet Lenten rules||ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS||View Article|
Social & Digital
The Mushroom Channel published six blog posts that garnered 949 page views and accounted for 0.77% of all website referral traffic in February.
- Show Your Heart Some Love with Mushrooms
- Brunching with Mushrooms
- Steak with Herb Sautéed Mushrooms
- Mushrooms 101: How to Select & Store Mushrooms
- Baked Sausage and Mushroom Frittata Muffins
- Mighty Mushroom Menu Pinterest Contest
Recipe video post: Brunch with The Blend resulted in over 107,000 views.
Download the FULL Social Analytics Report.
- National Nutrition Month Pinterest Promotion (March)
- “The Blend” National Blogger Campaign (April)
James Beard Foundation Promotion
The James Beard Foundation and The Mushroom Council continue to create this year’s campaign in anticipation of the major media announcement at the end of March. Materials and the website are almost ready to launch, and we have selected our Blended Burger Project spokesperson, Chef Hugh Acheson of Top Chef fame. Chef Acheson has a number of restaurants in the Southeast including Five &Ten, Empire State South, The National and Florence. Chef will not only serve as a spokesperson for the promotion around Blended Burgers, he also will be reaching out to chefs to join The Better Burger Project.
Programs and Presentations
Again, this year, The Council was invited to speak at Menu Directions, the conference hosted by Foodservice Director and Restaurant Business for non-commercial and select commercial operators. Besides the “flash talk” that we gave on The Blend, the Council served samples of the burger that was an LTO at Firebirds Wood-Fired Grill and the burger that won the Burger Category at the World Championship of Food. Others like Kikkoman did a kitchen session on meatballs, and every one of their creations was Blended, so the word is definitely getting around. Plus, Menu Directions hosted their annual culinary competition.
This year, besides having to develop an entrée using mushrooms and other products, the teams had to showcase their version of a Blended Burger. This year’s winners, from the University of Illinois and the Carolina Healthcare System, won based on the creativity and flavor of their Blended Burger, not their entrée, according to the judges.
This year the Council again went to USC for their muShroomapalooza event that featured Blended Burgers throughout campus as well as other mushroom dishes in each of the dining halls and retail outlets. Morton Fig and The Lab Gastropub put their Blended Burgers on display while every burger in the dining halls were a blend of beef and mushrooms. USC becomes another in a list of campuses that only serves The Blend for their main burger. As you can see, we created Blended Burger Bashes around campus and introduced students to the word “Blenditarian.”
The Council will also be presenting and demoing the Blend at The Southern Region NACUFS conference which includes colleges and universities across the Southeast. We will also be presenting at the Pacific and Mid-Continent Region along Executive Chef from Stanford.
SCHOOL NUTRITION SUMMARY
- The Montana Farm to School test is underway with student tests in three test districts. The first tests had great success with students (photo to the right). The burgers are a blend of USDA IQF mushrooms and raw, grass fed beef. The best practices from these pilots will be shared throughout the country to increase Blend adoption.
- An email went out to all state agencies in the United States in charge of ordering commodity products. The email reminded districts to add IQF mushrooms to their commodity list and directed recipients to Council school resources and recipes.
- IQF mushroom samples have been sent to Illinois, South Carolina, Montana, Maine, Missouri and more. The districts will test the diced mushrooms in recipe development to determine if they will include the mushrooms in their spring commodity order.
- A major meat manufacturer has approached the Council about Blend support and is currently developing a new Blend product prototype.
- 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.
- Discussions with Dairy Management Inc. have started to incorporate a Blended Burger Bash at the annual Fuel Up to Play 60 summer summit. The event would launch the Blended Burger Bash campaign for School Year 2016/2017
- A school nutrition industry webinar is planned for May to arm Mushroom sales representatives with the best resources to take advantage of school sales.
- A new school nutrition advertisement featuring the new campaign Blend the Rules was featured in School Nutrition magazine’s February issue.
- All recipes on mushroomsinschools.com are currently being updated to meet changing meal pattern requirements. You can view the updated recipes and resources here.
Developed Q1 nutrition e-newsletter for distribution in March. This issue features a guest article from media RD Rebecca Scritchfield about mushrooms and weight management. E-Newsletter will deliver in March for National Nutrition Month and promote the Mighty Mushrooms Pinterest Contest as well as the new Retail RD Toolkit.
The brand new Retail Dietitian Toolkit is well underway for its March launch at Oldways Symposium. Obtained USDA approval on the Toolkit and coordinated design with Brittany. The new Toolkit can be found on MushroomsAtRetail.com. Marketing strategies are currently in place to promote the Toolkit post-launch.
The Council is attending Oldways Supermarket RD Symposium in New Orleans March 20 – 22. We will present to over 60 retail dietitians from all over the country on The Blend and attendees will have the chance to sample The Blend tacos. The Council will also distribute its new retail dietitian toolkit on USB drives to all attendees. We will also be featuring a ½ page ad in the conference program book as part of our sponsorship.
The Council is excited to partner with the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance to expand our supermarket dietitian database and develop new leads to explore retail Blend pilots with. With this partnership, the Council will reach its 1,900+ members with multiple touchpoints throughout the year, including a newsletter article (April), e‐blast (July), webinar (June), and event sponsorship at FNCE (October). The Mushroom Council logo is also now featured on the sponsor page of their website and we are starting to coordinate the topic for our April newsletter article.
The Council continues to support supermarket RD activations:
- Weis Markets will be featuring “Mushrooms Are A Superfood” Signage starting in March through the rest of 2016 in 165 of their stores. The signage includes messaging on the nutrition benefits of both mushrooms and The Blend. These signs will be placed throughout the produce section and in the canned vegetables center aisle.
- The retail program sponsored a local broadcast placement with Weis Markets and WBNG-TV. We worked with Weis’ retail dietitian to provide messaging and communications for the segment on February 22. This promotion included a 2-minute interview segment with Weis’ dietitian on The Blend as well as 10, 30-second commercials featuring The Blend, resulting in 343,000 impressions. The segment was also promoted on Weis’s and WBNG-TV’s social media channels, resulting in an additional 188,300 impressions.
- Roundy’s RD continues to distribute The Blend in their Diabetes and Weight Watcher groups.
- Giant Food RD distributed 100 Blend recipe cards at her educational classes for shoppers.
- Reasor’s RD reached 200 customers at their weight management event on February 18 and distributed Blend recipe cards and information.
- Kroger RDs helped to feature two Mushroom Council soup recipes on their Inspired Gatherings digital circular page. The theme for this promotion was “Cold Weather Favorites.” http://kroger.inspiredgathering.com/winter/party-plan-cold-weather-favorites
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.
Shippers / Growers
The Council is working with shippers on programs, promotions and materials to generate awareness and sales of The Blend at retail. The Council provides hands-on marketing consultation to assist shippers in increasing their sales and marketing of The Blend and mushrooms. 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 MushroomsAtRetail.com.
The Council has a meeting with Doc’s Country Mart in March to discuss promoting The Blend in their stores. Doc’s has stores in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. They are actively discussing the opportunity to carry The Blend in the meat, deli and produce departments. The Council intends to use this retailer as a potential case study, which will then be able to be shared with the industry to encourage more retailers to carry The Blend.
The Weis retail promotion that ran in Q4 was a success. The promotion included in-store demos and the Healthy Bites magazine featuring the Chicken Marsala Blend Meatballs. Sales information indicated that the store saw a 6% lift during the promotional period.
The Healthy Heart promotion continued with a TV commercial that was sponsored by The Council’s retail program. The commercial ran 10 times in the northeast. It generated 343,000 impressions. Click on the image below to view the TV commercial. The link is posted on the WBNG Features landing page (generates 50,000 impressions per month), and the Chicken Marsala Blend recipe is featured on the Weis Markets You Tube channel (134 views).
The Council will sample Turkey Blend Tacos in their Newport Beach flagship location before rolling it out to additional stores. GroupTalk created the recipe card below and recipe cards were sent to Mother’s Market for the demo. Specific dates regarding the demos are to be determined.
The Council is lining-up opportunities for 2016 retail co-marketing promotions.
The Council will participate in the Beef Check-off Veal Summer Grilling promotion featuring The Blend. The promotion will run from June 17 through September 2, 2016. The Council will receive inclusion in the new veal and mushroom Blend burger recipe created by the Culinary Institute of America; inclusion in the on-pack recipe labels distibuted to participating retailers; inclusion in cooking demonstration videos; inclusion of the Mushroom Council’s website link on the Veal Made Easy website; inclusion in social and digitial advertising around Summer Grilling Promotion.
The Council negotiated to have access to the shared opt-in email addresses being collected during the Summer Grilling sweepstakes. Last year, the Beef Check-off promotion generated over 100,000 email adressesses.
The Council will provide social amplification similar to last year including the veal Instagram videos and FaceBook promotion and press release distribution. A second recipe will also be developed and featured during the promotion, but only the burger will be included in the on-pak label.
The Council is also reaching out to the Beef-Check-off to see if a cross promotion can be developed to exchange recipes and cross link the websites as a first step to building future promotions.
Reasor’s has incorporated The Blend with their meatloaf recipe at their newest store location. The chef that oversees the deli and restaurant has interest in piloting a Blend burger. Reasor’s supermarket retail dietitian will be attending Oldways. Steven and Kara will have a follow-up discussion with the SRD at Oldways. Prior to this, the Council has supported Reasor’s with Blend recipe cards for in-store demos.
The Council will network with Supermarket Registered Dietitians at the Oldways Symposium March 20-22 in New Orleans. The Mushroom Blend Turkey Taco recipe card (featured above) will be distributed to the Supermarket Registered Dietitians at the tradeshow. Our attendance at the show helps fulfill our 2016 retail plan to build solid relationships with Supermarket Registered Dietitians.
Retailer Data Information
Fresh Mushrooms are a top-ten vegetable category. The Mushroom Council will conduct a study to understand and measure key shopper purchase metrics and trends that are driving fresh mushroom purchases across U.S. retail outlets. Included in this report will be the percentage of U.S. households purchasing fresh mushrooms and the average amount spent per household each year on fresh mushrooms. Additionally, The Council continues to deliver The Tracker Suite on a monthly basis along with ad hoc information when needed.
- Sodexo Brings Mushroom Beef Burger to Schools – The Packer
- Mushroom Council Partners with Sodexo to Promote Blend Burgers – Produce News
- Sodexo Blends Mushrooms in Burgers at Schools to Boost Produce Intake – Food Navigator
- Can Mushroom Enhanced Burgers Make Kids Eat More Produce – Food & Wine
- Sodexo Makes Healthy School Lunch Priority with Mushroom Blend Burgers – Organic Authority
- Sodexo Drops Hamburgers for Plant Forward Variety – Foodservice Director
- Cool Recipe Alert – Food Management
- Mushroom Council Partners with Sodexo to Promote Blend Burgers – Perishable News
Tracker Highlights from 1/24/2016
Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy
- In the 4-weeks – Mushroom growth rate reaches double digits!
- In the 52-weeks – Mushrooms outpace Total Produce