Shipping Reports

Monthly Shipping Report | November 2013

November 28, 2013


  • On November 7, the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, appointed three individuals to serve on the Council for the term beginning January 1, 2014 and ending December 31, 2016.
    • Region 1: Charles Bosi – Ostrom Mushroom Farms
    • Region 2: Tony D’Amico – To-Jo Mushrooms (reappointed)
    • Region 3: Robert Murphy – Premier Mushrooms
  • A call for nominations for 3-year terms beginning January 1, 2015 will be mailed no later than February 3, 2014. The regions with a position opening up are Region 1 (one position), Region 2 (one position) and Region 4 (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.
  • The next Council meeting is being held on February 27-28, 2014 in Orlando, FL. If you are interested in attending, please contact [email protected] so we can make sure that you are accommodated.

  • As a courtesy, Exemption Applications for 2014 have been mailed to those who currently hold an exemption number. Exempt producers must apply each year for exemption; 2013 exemption numbers expire on December 31, 2013 and a new number is needed beginning January 1, 2014.
  • The November issue of the Mushrooms and Health Global Initiative Bulletin can be found here. The Mushroom Research section includes abstracts about vitamin D mushrooms and memory in mice and inflammation; mushrooms and weight control and diet quality; and bioactive properties of various mushrooms. You’ll also find a link to the presentations at the Mushrooms and Health Summit in the article from the United States.



click to enlarge

click to enlarge

*Imports are not included this month as we feel that there is a discrepancy in the numbers reported to us for the months of July and August. We are looking into the discrepancy and hope to have it resolved in the near future.



All About MushroomsIndustry Tools

  • A new visual that tells the complete mushroom story is now available to download and use as a marketing tool. This infographic gives an overview of why mushrooms belong on American plates:
    • Touching on statistics from retail, foodservice and schools to showcase increased demand;
    • Highlighting mushrooms’ nutrient profile;
    • Spotlighting Blendability as the way to tie mushroom flavor, nutrition and versatility together.

Use this visual in print and digital forms to share the mushroom story with your customers, retailers and foodservice operators.

Mushroom Council Marketing Summary – October 2013

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

  • The Council attended and exhibited at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Houston, TX, October 19-22. Highlights include:
  • 1,500+ Blendability burger samples served
  • 18 meetings with leading influencers/organizations to discuss synergies and new opportunities for 2014
  • 3,000 health professionals read the Mushroom Nutrition Newsletter with FNCE teaser and recap of the Mushrooms and Health Summit
  • 973 attendees scanned their badges and received Council recipes and information in a follow-up email distributed this week
  • 772 unique contacts added to the Nutrition Influencer Database (now totals 7,196)
  • Utilized Twitter to engage with registered dietitians and attendees during the event to amplify Blendability messages

  • In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Council again partnered with City of Hope to engage three influential food bloggers to #Fall4Mushrooms during the month of October: Dine and Dish; Savory Simple; and Ingredients, Inc. In addition to the development of unique mushroom recipes, the bloggers encouraged their communities to share their own mushroom recipes, which quickly spread messages of hope, health and general mushroom love across social media. The Mushroom Channel leveraged the food blogger network to spark mushroom conversation in organic online chatter. These efforts resulted in an estimated 1,065,294 social media impressions including 120 recipes and 209 total comments.

Mushrooms Pink October

  • The Mushroom Channel continued to promote the #Fall4Mushrooms on Twitter during the month of October, resulting in 157,740 impressions.
    • A blogger scavenger hunt at the Produce Marketing Association conference, hosted by Kitchen Play, drove mushrooms awareness among conference attendees who utilized the #Fall4Mushrooms hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.

    • The Council’s collaborative Pinterest board with City of Hope titled “Mushrooms for Hope” was updated with more than 40 recipes through the October blogger campaign. The newly created #Fall4Mushrooms Pinterest board was filled with 76 pins. Both boards received a total of 1,214 repins.


October Featured Pin Boards

    • Capitalizing on the seasonality of Halloween and fall comfort food conversations, the Council utilized Facebook to highlight the benefits of Blendability for these occasions. Paid promotion increased the reach of the two posts, resulting in a combined 111,968 impressions, 2,104 likes, 58 comments and 1,013 shares.



  • Search Engine Marketing drove approximately 19% of total visits to
    • Top performing keywords included “mushroom recipe,” “stuffed mushrooms,” “vitamin d foods” and “mushroom recipes” and “stuffed mushrooms.”
click to enlarge

click to enlarge



Mushroom Egg RecipesIndustry Tools

The Council is working on three E-Recipe books.  One is with the American Egg Board showcasing mushrooms and egg recipes for breakfast.  The E-Recipe books focus on the growth of the segment, as well as mushrooms on the menu.  The photo session, funded primarily by our partner, will be early next month with the book following.  Here is the Tuscan Garden Flatbread (preliminary photo).

We will also be developing E-books with our Meatless Monday partners, titled Mushroom Mondays. The book will feature chef recipes along with promotional ideas and information about the eating habits of Millennials and how restaurants are meeting their needs.

Finally an E-book is being developed to be merchandised by the Council and by Flik Independent School Districts featuring information about mushrooms in schools and recipes from last spring’s recipe contest.

Other case histories to be completed in December will include Washington University, Brooklyn and Portland chef tables and Epic Burger, among others.
Campus BlendabilityMarketing Summary

Blendability is the hot button (yes, that was intended) on college campuses.  Our work continues with UMass, which is rolling out its blended burger after a successful test; Harvard, which is adding 10-15 mushroom-meat recipes to its program; and Stanford, which will be testing a blended item at breakfast.  We continue to work with other colleges as well, with USC completing a recipe contest in December and University of North Texas planning a major mushroom promotion for second semester.  Chartwell’s Higher Ed is working with us on a promotion around spring break that will be featured in a number of regions at hundreds of colleges.

Au Bon Pain FrittataCompass has officially rolled out its Mushroom-Blended Favorites and it has been designated as a major priority for all lines of business in 2014. Initiatives are being developed for individual promotions with different sectors, a recipe contest and a series of chef training sessions.Au Bon Pain Chicken

Following Denny’s successful breakfast promotion that featured mushrooms and showed them prominently on TV, other chains are doing their own promotions.  Applebee’s and Perkins are promoting items with mushrooms.  Boston Pizza has been so successful with mushroom dishes that they want to use our logo on their menu.  As promised, Au Bon Pain, a major fast casual player which took mushrooms off the menu a number of years ago, is back in a big way with Council support. They recently introduced an Egg White Mushroom Breakfast Sandwich as well as a Chicken Mushroom Sandwich.

Portabella Bacon MeltOver the last several months we have mentioned that a major QSR was launching one of their successful Mushroom LTOs. This month, Wendy’s re-introduced their Bacon Portabella Melt.  To see how they are promoting (which is really just how they are introducing Brioche), watch the video.

Maggiano's Stuffed ShellsMaggiano’s is running a number of promotions featuring mushrooms. Their new Stuffed Shell line features a Chicken and Mushroom Shell pasta.

They are also running their “Best Italian Chef Contest” where the winner has his/her item featured on Maggiano’s menu, along with getting a trip to Italy. Last year’s winner featured a mushroom dish.

The Mushroom Flatbread that we showcased last month from California Pizza Kitchen recently appeared in a USA Today article on the trend towards meatless dining. Chef Brian Sullivan says that this is their top-selling flatbread.Calirfornia Kitchen Flatbread

Our work with CIA continues to pay off in ways other than building relationships with chains.  This month NPR published a story on Blendability after seeing The Council present at one of the CIA events.  We continue to work with new chains based on relationships made at CIA, ICCA and MEG.


On The Horizon

The Council is supporting more LTOs as well as new menu development.  Disney will host a major mushroom immersion in December and January.  Several casual restaurants will launch mushroom promotions at the start of the year, while universities continue to be very mushroom-friendly.



  • Mushrooms have been officially added to the USDA Available Foods Catalogue for SY 2014/2015. They are listed as catalogue # – 110421. If you are interested in supplying mushrooms to USDA for the National School Lunch Program and have questions about the Approved Vendor Process please contact Katie Preis. Orders for January have been placed and districts will be placing their orders for SY 2014/2015 in March to USDA. It is imperative to be an approved vendor before March to take part in this opportunity!
  • Mushroom Council representatives exhibited at the Maryland School Nutrition Show and the California School Nutrition State Show sampling blending tacos and meatballs with state foodservice directors. There are plans to attend 10 state shows in 2014. If you are interested in participating in your state SNA show please contact Katie Preis for information.
  • Cincinnati, Baltimore, Great Valley School District, New Orleans, Houston and Dallas are all in the planning stages for mushroom promotions this school year.
  • The Mushroom Council is hosting School Nutrition Webinar Wednesday in November to showcase the availability and opportunity for mushrooms in the National School Lunch Program. Over 200 school foodservice directors are expected to attend the webinar. District representatives from St Louis and Cincinnati along with members of the USDA will be presenting during the session.
  • An e-blast will be distributed to over 7,000 school foodservice directors via the School Nutrition Association introducing the mushroom blendability concept and availability through USDA foods as well as the new website.
  • The Council is planning to sponsor an innovation station at this year’s Child Nutrition Industry Conference in January 2014.
  • Johns Hopkins University and the Mushroom Council will be preforming a study on mushroom blended burger acceptability and calorie savings to take place in Baltimore Public Schools
  • Mushroom Council is developing 10 new recipes for school foodservice to include both blended and scratch cooked recipes.
  • has been approved. Share the link with all of your school nutrition contacts and use the website for recipes, student activities, case studies and nutrition information
  • Council School Nutrition resources can be found here.



click to enlarge

click to enlarge

The Topline report week ending 10/06/13 was sent to the industry on 11/13/13; click here to access the report online.

Total Mushrooms – 4 Weeks

  • The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +2.1% lagged Total Produce’s growth trend (+8.1%) by -6.0 points
  • The West Region led the dollar sales trends at +5.6%, with California coming in second at +5.4%. Midsouth showed the only decline at -2.4%
  • On a Market basis, Portland posted very strong dollar growth at +16.3% (a large gain on a smaller base). Raleigh/Greensboro exhibited the largest decline at -7.2%
  • Volume in pounds for the Total U.S. increased by +1.5%. West led with the largest increase in volume at +4.8%, while Midsouth and South Central declined -4.3% and -2.0%, respectively
  • At the Market level, Portland increased in volume +14.0%. Cleveland exhibited the largest decrease at -27.5%


 Segment/Variety – 4 Weeks

  • Total U.S. dollar sales of the White segment declined -1.9%, while Brown mushrooms grew +9.9% overall. Creminis were flat at -0.4%, while Portabellas showed strong growth, up +42.9%
  • On a Regional basis, California was the only region to show an increase in the White segment at +5.1%. Midsouth showed the largest White segment decline at -8.0%
  • The Brown segment saw dollar sales growth in seven of eight regions with South Central leading at +20.7%. Northeast declined -3.8%
  • At the Market level, White segment dollar trends were mixed, ranging from +15.8% in Albany to a decline of -12.7 in Cleveland. Thirty-four of 50 markets declined in White mushroom dollar sales. Conversely, in the Brown segment, 42 of 50 Markets posted strong gains, including Milwaukee (+44.5%) and Omaha (+43.8%)
  • Total U.S. volume in pounds for the White segment declined -2.8%, while the Brown segment saw overall volume growth of +13.0%, driven by Portabella mushrooms at +55.0%
  • On a Regional basis, the Northeast and West increased +1.1% and +1.2%, respectively, in White segment volume. Midsouth had the largest White segment volume decline at -9.6%. In the Brown segment, seven of eight Regions increased volume, with Southeast leading the Regions at +31.3%. Northeast showed the only decrease at -2.3%


Total Mushrooms – 52 Weeks

  • The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +3.0% lagged Total Produce’s growth trend of +8.1% by -5.1 points
  • Most Regions were up in dollar sales vs. the prior 52-week period. Northeast holds the largest dollar share (20.8%) and showed flat growth while Plains (6.9% share) led the Regions with the top dollar sales trend of +7.3%. Midsouth was also flat for the period
  • Most Markets experienced dollar growth, notably Milwaukee (+19.4%), Kansas City (+9.6%), and           New Orleans/Mobile (9.1%)
  • Total U.S. mushroom volume in pounds grew +3.2%
  • Most Regions witnessed volume growth, led by Plains at +6.6% and West at +6.5%. Midsouth and South Central were flat.
  • Only five of 50 Markets saw downward volume trends, including Harrisburg/Scranton (-3.3%), and Cleveland (-2.3%)


Segment/Variety – 52 Weeks

  • Total U.S. dollar sales for the White segment were flat, with only California (+3.0%) and Plains (+1.2%) posting gains.  In the Brown segment, dollar sales were up +11.6% in Total U.S.  All Regions posted positive trends with six Regions in the double-digits
    • Brown segment trends were driven by Portabella mushrooms, which hold a 29.3% dollar share of Browns and delivered sales growth of +31.3%
  • At the Market level, dollar sales trends in the White segment varied greatly, ranging from an increase of +14.6% in Milwaukee to a -7.8% decline in Dallas/Ft. Worth
  • The Brown segment saw very strong dollar sales gains across 46 of 50 Markets, with Salt Lake City leading at +34.0%. Harrisburg/Scranton showed a decline of -5.2%
  • Total U.S. volume in pounds of White mushrooms was flat, while gains were seen in California (+4.9%) Plains (+2.6%) and West (+1.8%). Total U.S. volume in pounds of Brown mushrooms grew +13.6%, led by South Central, which grew volume +29.2%
    • Brown segment volume growth trends were driven by  Portabella mushrooms which have a 26.4% volume share of Browns and delivered volume growth of +35.7%
  • As with dollars, the Market level volume trends for the White segment were mixed, with 27 Markets trending downward including Dallas/Ft. Worth (-9.7%) and West Tex/New Mexico (-7.6%)
  • The volume trend of Brown mushrooms fared better, with only six Markets trending downward. San Francisco (-13.7%) and Harrisburg/Scranton (-4.7%) posted the largest loss
    • Strong volume increases in the Brown segment occurred in these Markets: West Tex/New Mexico (+49.6%), New Orleans/Mobile (+40.5%) and Milwaukee (+39.0%)


Industry Tools

The Market Insights Retail Sales Tool is now available and the Updated Blueprint for Profit will be available for use this fall.

Marketing Summary

Communications surrounding merchandising mushrooms in the winter was shared with Produce Business.

Comments are closed.