Monthly Shipping Report | September 2014
- The nominees that were submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture for possible appointment onto the Council are currently going through USDA channels. Once we receive the names of those appointed we will share the information with the industry.
- The next Council meeting is being held on October 28-29, 2014 in Kennett Square, PA. If you are interested in attending, please contact Cheryl@mushroomcouncil.org so we can make sure that you are accommodated.
- The 23rd North American Mushroom Conference is taking place in San Juan, Puerto Rico on January 22-24, 2015. To register, visit mushroomconference.org. The Council will hold its first meeting of 2015 on Thursday, January 22 before the NAMC opening reception.
To see current charts click here.
Mushroom Council Marketing Summary – August 2014
- August consumer media highlights featured mushrooms in articles about meat replacement, versatility, flavor and vitamin D messages. Click on the links below to view the full stories.
- Let’s stretch, National Culinary Review, August 2014
- Go Meatless: 12 Healthy Habits, Cooking Light, August 2014
- Burger Toppings Week: Insane Mornay and Mushroom Duxelles Burger, Serious Eats, 8/1
- Betting on Resilience: This Week in Daily Giving, Huffington Post, 8/4
- Mushroom Blending, Washington Post, 8/6
- Mushroom Council continues strong promotion, mushroom consumption swelling, Produce News, 8/6
- An Umami-Rich Mushroom Dish to eat Any Hour of the Day, Yumsugar, 8/11
- 7 Vegetables You Should Definitely Grill This Summer, Food & Wine, 8/12
- Seeing benefits of meat-mushroom blend, Portland Press Herald, 8/12
- 6 Reasons That Mushrooms Make an Awesome Addition to Any Meal, UPMC HealthBeat, 8/13
- The Surprising Food Flavor That Can Help You Shed Pounds, Health, 8/15
- Nutrition and healthy eating, Mayo Clinic, 8/22
- The Surprising Food Flavor That Can Help You Shed Pounds, FOX News, 8/23
- The Surprising Food Flavor That Can Help You Shed Pounds, TIME, 8/26
- 5 Fast Mushroom Recipes, Prevention, 8/31
- 6 Low-Carb Food Makeovers, WebMD, 8/31
- Celebrate National Mushroom Month with Chicken with Mushrooms, Food & Health, 8/31
- Atlanta’s king of burgers and restaurateur, Chef Linton Hopkins joined the ranks as a spokes-chef promoting Blendability, Mushroom Month and the recently released University of California Davis (UC Davis) and the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) study.
- Taste of Home (TOH) cooking school results are in. Combined media efforts behind the program drove more than 240 million impressions. Attendee surveys revealed:
- 70 percent believe mushrooms can enhance everyday meals
- 65 percent agree adding mushrooms can help enhance portion size
- 52 percent think mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D
- 46 percent have already cooked the mushroom Blendability recipe that they saw demonstrated at the event
And, compared to the general population, TOH attendees are 15 percent more likely to purchase mushrooms than the general population.
- Entries to the 2014 “Swap It or Top It” recipe contest tripled in its second year with more than 350 entered from June 1-August 15 with the Partnership for a Healthier America, Linton Hopkins and Jehangir Mehta judging recipe submissions to announce a grand-prize winner and two, runner-up selections. Winners to be announced in a national press release at the end of September.
- Continued promotion across blogger communities throughout contest period and three paid promotional Facebook posts (making a total of eight)
- A first-of-its-kind sensory study conducted by UC Davis and the CIA supporting the flavor-enhancing properties of mushrooms as part of the Blendability technique was published in the Institute of Food Technologists’ Journal of Food Science.
- Nutrition Today accepted the Council’s manuscript supporting the consideration of three, separate food kingdoms: plants/ botany; animals/zoology and fungi/mycology; adding fungi to account for mushrooms’ unique nutrient and culinary characteristics.
- A second round of comments was submitted to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to highlight the Council’s latest research.
- Mushroom Channel engaged with 11 foodservice partners including Seasons 52, Romano’s Macaroni Grille, Shari’s Café, BJ’s Restaurant, Mama Fu’s, Salad Works, Cheddar’s, Einstein’s Bros, Outback Steakhouse, Smashburger and Burger King.
- Continued promotions for Seasons 52’s Mushroom Duxelle burger and Romano’s Macaroni Grille’s blended rustic meatballs
— Mushroom Council (@MushroomChannel) August 14, 2014
— Mushroom Council (@MushroomChannel) August 25, 2014
— Mushroom Council (@MushroomChannel) August 6, 2014
- Participated in Twitter party hosted by Fruits & Veggies – More Matters sharing quick, easy family meals and how to make them healthier by incoroporating produce such as mushrooms.
- Garnered 190+ unique participants, 2K+ tweets and 780K+ impressions
- Mushroom Channel published three, blogger recipes with 550+ page views and accounted for 15 percent of all website referral traffic in August.
- Mushroom Duxelle Crostini recipe from Jennifer of “Savory Simple”
- Mediterranean Mushroom-Zucchini Boats recipe from Brooke of “Cheeky Kitchen”
- Mushroom and Chicken Quesadilla recipe from Robyn of “Add a Pinch”
- Tomato Wellness shared pinterest board and was added to the Mushroom Channel Pinterest page featuring 17 pins which received 125 repins, 16 likes and 3K+ followers.
- Culinary Institute for America featured CIA Chef, Bill Briwa and Bart Minor in a video highlighting a blended taco recipe. Featured in #TacoTuesday blog post on Mushroominfo.com and received 30+ views.
- Facebook post promoting the blog post received 130 likes and 40+ shares
- One promoted Facebook post for International Bacon Day.
- Reached 145K+ people, received 9K+ likes, 1K+ shares, 440+ link clicks, 0.16 cost per like and $6.76 cost per every 1K engagements
- Three promoted Facebook posts around “Swap It or Top It” recipe contest (an additional $1K was added to the June – August monthly budget for Swap/Top promotion).
- Reached 105K+ people, received 6K+ likes, 380+ shares, $0.19 cost per like and $7.40 cost per every 1K engagements
- Search ad words accounted for 15.8 percent of total visits in August. Top performing paid keywords included: vitamin D foods, mushroom recipes and stuffed mushrooms.
ON THE HORIZON
- The “Life of Dad” network of leading Dad bloggers will compete in three challenges to submit 15-30 mushroom recipes via a social media campaign that showcase Blendability, easy kid-friendly meals and game day grilling essentials. The partnership includes a podcast interview with Linton Hopkins, blogger engagement, Twitter party and a Blendability cooking video to promote the “#ShroomTember” campaign. Follow all the action and keep up with incoming recipes, here.
- Partnering with Serious Eats (a 5M member strong online food destination) to launch a co-created, sponsored content series for September Mushroom Month. Seven posts will showcase the mushroom and blend recipes of chefs Linton Hopkins and Jehangir Mehta, plus a profile piece on Linton and online ads driving back to the Council’s blend information and recipe index.
- The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2014 Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) will take place in Atlanta (10/18-21). The Council is sponsoring the Foundation gala and will be serving a mushroom and blend-focused menu to attendees.
For more detailed social analytics download the NEW Social Analytics Report here.
The momentum around Blendability continues to build. More chains have jumped on board, as have more colleges, healthcare, school districts and corporate dining. And there is more to come.
Chains Are Blending: Earlier this summer, Romano’s Macaroni Grill introduced a blended mushroom-veal meatball, which it continues to promote. Seasons 52, which is a member of the Darden family, introduced its Signature Burger this summer. As promised, when the fall menu was announced, the Signature Burger was still a centerpiece on the menu. It has been only because of the blend that Seasons 52 can even menu beef burgers, since the concept only menus items under 450 calories, which could not be attained without the addition of mushrooms. Because of that, the chefs and servers love the item and have been suggestively selling it, making it one of the top selling items, according to Darden. While this is only available on the lunch menu, anyone can ask for the burger at dinner and the chef will be happy to accommodate.
The newest chain to introduce blending is Gordon Biersch, led by one of our Healthy Menu Collaborative partners. Their Turkey and Wild Mushroom Meatloaf is a blend of ground turkey with white button mushrooms and shiitakes. As they say in their menu description, “We’ve taken this staple of American comfort food and given it a remarkable level of complexity and layered flavors. We begin by mixing fresh ground turkey with shiitake and button mushroom for earthy unctuousness. We cover it in our house made beer gravy and serve bright, creamy roasted garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables on the side.” Gordon Biersch restaurants can be found in Arizona, California, Colorado, Washington DC, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Texas and Virginia.
Mushrooms As Superfood: While September is Mushroom Month, October is “Mushrooms as Superfood” Month at all Compass locations. These locations will be promoting mushrooms in every way including blending. The month will be filled with contests, promotions and new recipes.
Boston Blendability Event: Later this month, in honor of Mushroom Month, the city of Boston and the Boston Globe is putting on a Food Festival, called Let’s Talk About Food. The Festival will attract around 15,000-20,000 people who will view exhibits and cooking demonstrations by famous chefs. The final starring event will be a presentation of Blendable Burgers by 7 of the top chefs in Boston. After the Festival, the chefs will menu their version of a Blendable Burger for all of Boston to taste. The Council will also be sharing an exhibit with Harvard which will be showcasing one of Harvard’s own blended meat and mushroom recipes.
Epcot Food and Wine: Disney’s Festival begins as well, which will run until early November. Every day at Epcot, a blended item will be showcased to consumers of the Park in one of their many kiosks. Attended by foodies from across the country, the Festival will also showcase blendability in six different demos, two of which will be from Iron Chef Jehangir Mehta.
Publicity: While there continues to be considerable publicity about blendability in foodservice, this past month had two wide-spread, well-read articles. Plate Magazine followed up its Vegetable issue with a PlateOnLine article. Nation’s Restaurant News, which is the top publication read by chains, published an article about the number of chains that are adopting blendability. Included was the upcoming Applebee’s menu item which “smashes” mushrooms into their burger meat. To see the article from NRN, go to: http://nrn.com/whats-hot/blended-burgers-take
Colleges and Blendability: Stanford has officially put the Blended Burger as well as a portabella sandwich and a blended meatloaf on their 3-week cycle menu in the dining halls. UC Riverside, based on the success of their blended turkey burgers, are creating a beef burger that is blended. And UMASS kicked off the start of their school year with a Labor Day Celebration where they served more than 7,500 blended burgers. The blended burger is being rolled out to every one of the dining halls on campus.
Other Menuing and Interesting News: This month, The Mushroom Council attended a CIA event and presented Blendability to operators like Hyatt Regency, Giant-Eagle, Coco’s and Carrows, Luby’s, LYFE, Colorado State University, Pasta Pomodoro, Rutger’s, Cracker Barrel, University of Missouri, University of Iowa and University of Colorado. Also, the Council served blended burgers and meatballs at the North American Meat Association Annual Meeting where the blend was an enormous success with a number of processors looking to develop new products.
Following on the heels of several successful product launches last month including Burger King and Longhorn Steak House, more promotions were launched in Mushroom Month. Longhorn followed its Manhattan Stuffed Filet with a new Harvest Mushroom Filet. While the Stuffed Filet featured a cheese-stuffed mushroom and béarnaise on a filet, the Harvest brings in shiitake, oyster and crimini mushrooms to top off a filet with red wine bordelaise. So while mushrooms are still the number one topper for steaks, Long Horn continues to showcase different ways to set themselves apart.
Also setting themselves apart is Smash Burger which already will take mushrooms and mix them in to their burgers. Now, Smashburger has introduced a Truffle (White Button) and Swiss Burger with Arugula. Stay tuned for other burger chains to introduce their own versions of this classic favorite.
SCHOOL NUTRITION SUMMARY
- The USDA has invited the Mushroom Council to participate in a mushroom blended product showcase in September. The meeting will promote the success of the mushrooms in schools program while highlighting vendors participating in the program and the various mushroom blended products available. The meeting will also forward the process of sending mushrooms directly to school kitchens to use in speed scratch applications.
- The meeting will highlight how both Further Processors and potentially School Districts are utilizing the new IQF Diced Mushroom. The Mushroom Council, Advance Pierre, JTM and Maid Rite will share the innovative and healthy blended products currently available to schools utilizing the IQF Diced Mushroom for Direct Diversion. The Mushroom Council will also show speed scratch concepts utilizing the IQF Mushroom for Direct Delivery. Demos will include: blended taco meat and blended sloppy joes for sampling. Blended spaghetti sauce and chili will also be demonstrated.
- Case studies and recipes were added to the school nutrition website. All resources can be found at mushroomsinschools.com
- Mushroom Blendability ads ran in the August issue of School Nutrition Magazine
- Planning has started to launch mushroom blendability through a major foodservice management company, introducing mushroom blendability to hundreds of districts throughout the country.
- Council School Nutrition resources can be found here.
The Topline report week ending 08/10/14 was sent to the industry on 9/12/14; click here to access the report online.
Topline Retail Report – Highlights – (4 and 52 Weeks Ending 8/10/2014)
Spotlight – Notable and Newsworthy
Total Mushrooms – 4 Weeks
- The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +1.9% lagged Total Produce’s growth of
+2.7% by -0.8 point
- South Central led in dollar growth rate at +7.2%, followed by Midsouth at
- On a Market basis, Albany posted strong dollar growth at +16.8%. Boston
posted the largest decline, down -7.4%
- Total U.S. Organic dollar sales grew +25.7%, driven by California (+53.1%)
which holds a 12.8% share of total Organic dollars
- Volume in pounds for Total U.S. was flat while Midsouth led the Regions with a volume increase of +6.1%. Plains declined -7.7%
- At the Market level, Charlotte showed the largest increase in volume at +18.8%
- Total Organic volume increased +23.4%, driven by Great Lakes (+13.3%) which holds a 44.2% share of total Organic volume
Segment/Variety – 4 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales of the White segment was flat while Brown mushrooms exhibited growth of +4.8%
- Cremini mushrooms were flat while Portabellas experienced dollar growth of +15.3%
- On a Regional basis, White mushrooms growth rates varied from up +4.9% in South Central to down -3.4% in Southeast
- Brown mushrooms fared better with growth in six of eight regions. California dollars declined -4.7%, while dollars in South Central grew +12.5%
- White segment dollars were down in 21 of 50 Markets with results ranging from growth of +14.7% in Albany to a decline of -10.0% in Boston. In the Brown segment, 35 of 50 Markets posted strong gains, including Hartford/Springfield (+30.0%), Albany (+23.8%) and Houston (+18.3%)
- Total U.S. volume in pounds for the White segment declined -1.9%, while the Brown segment saw overall volume growth of +5.9%, driven by Portabella mushrooms, up +23.3%
- In the Brown segment, South Central led Regional volume growth at +14.0%. California and Plains both declined -5.8%
Total Mushrooms – 52 Weeks
- The Total U.S. dollar sales trend of +2.9% lagged Total Produce’s growth trend of +5.3% by -2.4 points
- South Central (9.1% dollar share) led the Regions with the top dollar sales trend of +4.9%. Northeast holds the largest dollar share (20.7%), but grew only +1.2%. All Regions posted gains
- Most Markets experienced dollar growth, notably Omaha (+10.0%), Houston (+9.0%) and Chicago (+8.3%)
- Total U.S. Organic dollar sales grew +36.7%, driven by West (+97.4%) which holds a 13.1% share of total Organic dollars
- Total U.S. mushroom volume in pounds grew +2.2%
- Five of eight Regions delivered volume growth, led by Midsouth at +4.0%.
California, South Central and Southeast were flat
- Only 12 of 50 Markets saw downward volume trends, including Sacramento
(-3.7%), Cleveland (-3.4%) and Minneapolis/St. Paul (-2.5%)
- Organic volume increased +32.7%, driven by Great Lakes (+18.5%) which holds a 48.8% share of total Organic volume
Segment/Variety – 52 Weeks
- Total U.S. dollar sales for the White segment were flat, while California (+3.2%) and South Central (+1.1%) posted the only gains. In the Brown segment, dollar sales were up +7.3% in Total U.S.
- In the Brown segment, seven Regions posted positive trends, of which four Regions were in the double-digits
- Total U.S. Brown segment dollar trends were driven by Portabella mushrooms, which hold a 32.2% dollar share of Browns and delivered sales growth of +20.2%
- At the Market level, dollar sales trends in the White segment ranged from an increase of +9.5% in Sacramento to a -5.8% decline in Toledo
- The Brown segment saw very strong dollar sales gains across 45 of 50 Markets, with Denver leading at +26.4%. Sacramento showed the largest decline of -16.1%
- Total U.S. volume in pounds of White mushrooms was flat, but growth was seen in Northeast (+1.8%)
- Total U.S. volume in pounds of Brown mushrooms grew +8.1%, led by South Central with growth of +13.6%
- Total U.S. Brown segment volume growth trends were driven by Portabella mushrooms which have a 30.3% volume share of Browns and delivered volume growth of +27.5%
- As with dollars, the Market level volume trends for the White segment were mixed, with 17 Markets trending upward including Charlotte (+8.6%) and Omaha (+7.6%)
- The volume trend of Brown mushrooms fared better, with only four Markets trending downward. Sacramento (-18.8%) and Buffalo/Rochester (-5.5%) posted the largest losses
- Strong volume growth in the Brown segment occurred in these Markets: Louisville (+25.8%), Omaha (+20.8%) and Nashville (+20.1%)
The annual mushroom NASS report was released on August, 20th. The Mushroom Industry Communications Committee distributed a press release resulting in the following placements:
Mushroom Sales Volume Up – The Packer
NASS Crop Confirms Volume is Up – Produce News
Blended Burgers Take Off– Nations Restaurant News
Make Room for Shrooms – Plate Magazine
Umami Undercover – Nations Restaurant News
Market Insights Retail Sales Tool:
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