Transforming the Marketplace

The Mushroom Council

Year Committed: 2013
Length of Commitment: 3 years

Dedicate a minimum of $2 million annually for 3 years to bring more vegetables to the plates of American families through mushroom marketing, working with school systems to increase mushroom-based food items served in schools, developing a new category of healthier meat and mushroom products for schools or commercial foodservice and engaging major associations of nutritionists and dieticians to communicate the nutrition benefits of blending mushrooms and meats.

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Verified Results

    • Commitment Element

      Dedicate a minimum of $2 million annually over 3 years to mushroom marketing, national school food programs, product innovation, and promotions.
    • Progress To Date

      In 2016, Mushroom Council budgeted to dedicate $4,866,760 to mushroom marketing, national school food programs, product innovations and promotions.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2015
    • Reporting Date

      April 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Generate 550 million traditional and online media impressions educating and encouraging women age 25-55 about nutritional benefits of mushrooms.
    • Progress To Date

      The Mushroom Council reported over 1.5 billion traditional and online media impressions. However, no information was provided specific to media impressions that intended to educate and encourage women ages 25-55 about the nutritional benefits of mushrooms.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2015
    • Reporting Date

      April 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Communication programs will include 1-3 family-focused recipe contests to engage all ages in healthy cooking.
    • Progress To Date

      There were no new recipe contests completed during the reporting period. To date, the Mushroom Council conducted 1 recipe contest.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2015
    • Reporting Date

      April 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Educate a minimum of 50 percent of the top 100 restaurant chains regarding new ways to add more produce to the plate.
    • Progress To Date

      In 2015, the Mushroom Council educated 11 restaurant chains regarding new ways to add more produce to the plate. To date, the Mushroom Council has educated 50 restaurant chains. Of these, 23 restaurant chains were part of the top 100 restaurant chains in 2015 based on U.S. sales and other metrics.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2015
    • Reporting Date

      April 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Work with 10 restaurant chains and colleges/universities to create new menu ideas or concepts that follow the 2010 US Dietary Guidelines.
    • Progress To Date

      The Mushroom Council provided data on a variety of outreach efforts targeting chains and colleges/universities, but no specific data related creating new menu ideas or concepts that follow the US Dietary Guidelines.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2015
    • Reporting Date

      April 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Facilitate a minimum of 10 school pilot programs, with a target of five schools where a majority of students participate in the free or reduced lunch program, that will incorporate mushrooms and mushroom/meat blends on the menu. The Council will support the program with menu development, onsite kitchen training, marketing needs, and posters.
    • Progress To Date

      No update was provided. To date, the Mushroom Council worked with a total of nine schools. Seven out of the nine schools served populations where the majority of students were eligible for free or reduced price school lunch.

    • Implementation Date

      June 2015
    • Reporting Date

      April 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Develop a Standard Procedure tool kit for use of mushrooms in school food that will be distributed nationally to schools.
    • Progress To Date

      The Mushroom Council developed the Farm to School: Mushroom Harvest of the Month Kit for schools. The kit was designed to promote mushrooms and their health benefits to students. It included information on cooking, ordering and handling, as well as cafeteria marketing materials and classroom activities. The kit is available online and was distributed at the School Nutrition Association Annual Conference.

    • Implementation Date

      September 2016
    • Reporting Date

      April 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Facilitate mushroom promotions in 10 school districts, with a target of five school districts where a majority of students participate in the free or reduced lunch program, and with a goal of serving meal items made with mushrooms and marketing the health benefits to staff, teachers, students and parents.
    • Progress To Date

      The Mushroom Council facilitated mushroom promotions in 12 school districts, six of which had greater than 50% of students eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.

    • Implementation Date

      June 2016
    • Reporting Date

      April 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Coordinate development and distribution of 30-40 recipes for schools that operate scratch cooking services. Recipes will focus on meat/mushroom blends and uses for fresh mushrooms.
    • Progress To Date

      As of October 2016, the Mushroom Council has developed 55 recipes for schools that focused on meat/mushroom blends and fresh mushrooms, some of which were developed in collaboration with schools. Recipes were distributed through the Mushrooms in Schools website.

    • Implementation Date

      June 2016
    • Reporting Date

      April 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Work with 1-3 partners to develop new product prototypes that will be tested and evaluated to meet school food nutrition standards. The product prototypes will be tested through school pilot purchase orders.
    • Progress To Date

      No update was provided. To date, the Mushroom Council has worked with three partners to develop new product prototypes.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2015
    • Reporting Date

      April 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Engage School Nutrition Association (SNA) and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) members 4-6 times through outreach such as webinars, newsletters, receptions, social media, targeted email distribution or mailings.
    • Progress To Date

      The Mushroom Council engaged School Nutrition Association and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics members five times during the reporting period. The Mushroom Council reached over 50 supermarket dietitians at Oldways Supermarket Dietitian Symposium, a mushroom farm tour for dietitians in Kennett Square, PA and an influencer dinner at The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo in Nashville, TN. The Council also created a toolkit specifically tailored to retail dietitians to encourage mushroom/beef blend promotions and demos. In addition, the Mushroom Council exhibited and spoke at the 2015 School Nutrition Association conference in Salt Lake City, UT.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2015
    • Reporting Date

      April 2016
    • Commitment Element

      Assess awareness and behavior of SNA and educators on nutritional benefits of blending mushrooms and meat.
    • Progress To Date

      In 2015, the Mushroom Council conducted an online survey, School Nutrition Mushroom Blend Survey, to assess awareness and behavior of the School Nutrition Association and educators on nutritional benefits of blending mushrooms and meat. The survey was completed by 101 participants.

    • Implementation Date

      December 2015
    • Reporting Date

      April 2016

Partner Statement

“The Mushroom Council completed another successful year with the Partnership for a Healthier America. More schools, colleges and restaurants are serving healthier mushroom blended burgers than ever before. Partnership for Healthier America facilitated increased partnerships for the Mushroom Council including work with Sodexo and Health Care without Harm. The Mushroom Council continues to reach more families promoting the nutritional benefits of fresh mushrooms and working with decision makers to incorporate more blended products on their menus making the healthy choice the easy choice for all Americans.”