BOSTON – If your patrons are not yet on the whole grain train then April 4th is the day to tempt them aboard! Boston-based 501(c)3 educational non-profit Oldways and its Whole Grains Council (WGC) are launching the first annual National Whole Grain Sampling Day on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 and putting out a call to supermarkets, foodservice outlets, restaurants, manufacturers and other organizations to join the celebration.
The mission of Whole Grain Sampling Day is three-fold:
- To show consumers how delicious whole grains can be
- To encourage chefs and kitchens everywhere to make whole grains an everyday offering
- To give manufacturers an opportunity to tout their new whole grain choices
Already, food providers are responding with a resounding “Yes!” Compass Group, a leading food management company serving over six million diners daily, is the first to commit. They plan to offer tastings in a variety of settings including corporate cafes, healthcare facilities, public and independent schools. "Tastings are a great way to reduce the fear of the unknown that some customers have when trying a new food. We use this strategy often to introduce new healthful foods. We are excited to participate in the first Whole Grain Sampling Day," said Deanne Brandstetter, MBA, RD, Vice President Nutrition and Wellness for Compass North America.
Arby's also plans to participate in Whole Grains Sampling Day. "We see this as a great opportunity to highlight the whole grain options available on every sandwich at Arby's," said Jo Ann Herold, Vice President of Brand Marketing for Arby's.
Other partners, including McDonald’s and Cooking Light magazine, are already on board to share information on April 4. Indian Harvest, supplier of specialty rices and grains, will use Facebook to encourage its foodservice customers to come up with creative ideas for WG Sampling Day promotions – and will award a free case of whole grains to those with the top 5 ideas. With these partners – and many more expected – the Whole Grains Council looks forward to introducing thousands of Americans coast to coast to the health benefits and great taste of whole grains.
“Research shows that taste is growing as the reason people choose whole grains, so by partnering with restaurants, food companies and the media we plan to ‘wow’ people on National Whole Grain Sampling Day,” said Cynthia Harriman, Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies for the Whole Grains Council and Oldways. “All incentives — free samples, coupons or a whole grain gift with purchase – help get whole grains into the mouths of consumers, our ultimate goal.”
Whole grain consumption is on the rise, due in large part to increased availability of a wide range of delicious and healthy grains for every palate. According to SPINS, a market research and consulting firm, sales of natural foods and beverages with the Whole Grain Stamp increased 9.9% over the last year.
Supermarkets, restaurants and foodservice establishments can take part in Whole Grain Sampling Day with any kind of promotion. Those unable to participate on April 4th – such as restaurants with a prior catering commitment –are encouraged to pick another day that week. The Whole Grains Council will list all participating activities and promotions on its website. To be included or to brainstorm how you can participate, visit the Whole Grain Sampling Day page of the WGC website, or email Karen Mansur.
Please contact Rachel Greenstein (firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-896-4888) for more information, including hi-res graphics of the Whole Grain Sampling Day logo or for interviews with WGC and Oldways program managers.
About Oldways and the Whole Grains Council
Oldways (www.oldwayspt.org) is a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, with a mission to guide people to good health through heritage, using practical and positive programs grounded in science and tradition. The Whole Grains Council (WGC), an Oldways program, has been working since 2003 to increase consumption of whole grains for better health, and in 2005 introduced the Whole Grain Stamp, now used on 6,400 products in 27 countries. The WGC's many initiatives help consumers to find whole grain foods and understand their health benefits; help manufacturers and restaurants to create delicious whole grain foods; and help the media to write accurate, compelling stories about whole grains. You can learn more about both at http://www.oldwayspt.org and http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org.
Source: Oldways and the Whole Grains Council