Sep 7, 2022
Mushroom Council: Mushrooms are the answer

Extending your grocery budget, adding more nutrition, eating more sustainably: No matter what challenge you’re trying to solve in the kitchen, “Mushrooms are the Answer,” according to the National Mushroom Council.

This September, the Mushroom Council will spend National Mushroom Month and beyond showcasing the myriad ways mushrooms are increasingly a solution to many of the problems, wants and needs consumers have when planning out their weekly grocery purchases.

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Under the banner “Mushrooms are the Answer,” the Mushroom Council’s multimedia campaign will feature:

  • A digital hub positioning mushrooms as an essential pantry item featuring recipes, usage tips, nutrition information and sustainability facts;
  • Exclusive promotions sent to mushroom followers including promotional giveaways, shopping lists and digital assets aimed at inspiring mushroom purchases;
  • Digital and social media ads declaring “Mushrooms are the Answer,” driving users back to the site;
  • Collaborations with registered dietitians to showcase mushrooms’ solutions for local media;
  • National consumer media outreach;
  • Collaborations with culinary and social media influencers creating Instagram Reels and additional content illustrating how mushrooms can extend the grocery budget. Partners include:
  • @limelightpix: Family-Friendly Mushroom Grilled Cheese
  • @tinatakeslunch: Kid’s Bento Box Mushroom Pasta
  • @cheerfulchoices: Morning to Night: How to Use Caramelized Mushrooms Any Time of Day
  • @tativevegancooking: Dinner-Made-Easy Mushroom Stroganoff
  • @natteats: Weeknight Mushroom Chicken Pot Pie
  • @beingecomomical: Back-to-School Mushroom & Shrimp Pasta Dinner

Why  Mushrooms are the Answer When  Food Costs Rise

Among the challenges Mushroom Council’s campaign addresses, the timeliest is how mushrooms are the answer in the face of rising food prices.

“Our intent with ‘Mushrooms are the Answer’ is to showcase how mushrooms can help consumers extend meat and other ingredients, and keep favorite meals on the menu in these inflationary times,” Bart Minor, president and CEO of the Mushroom Council, said in a news release. “Mushrooms are the great meal extender, whether it’s blending with meat for making more burgers with this week’s ground beef purchase, bulking up a breakfast omelet or maximizing a comforting dish like beef stroganoff.”

Ann-Marie Roerink, principal at 210 Analytics, notes rising food prices are overwhelmingly a consumer concern in the grocery aisle, reaching its most widespread level yet at 93% of all grocery shoppers according to IRI Worldwide.

“This is where mushrooms come in,” she said in the release. “In addition to being nutritious, delicious and sustainable, consumers are also using mushrooms to stretch their meat dollars. Meat inflation started before other categories due to the issues related to COVID at the meat processing plants, and prices have been rising for three years running. Mushrooms, on the other hand, have seen some price increases but inflation has been below that of total vegetables.”

Roerink notes many retailers are likewise showcasing mushrooms as a meal extender. Some have even added mushroom displays right in the meat case.

“After doing 30-plus store tours all over the U.S. and the Netherlands in recent weeks, I found many examples of retailers merchandising mushrooms in the meat department, both in the self-service case and the full-service counter,” she said in the release. “Some were stuffed with meat, but others were vegetarian offerings. Likewise, we see consumers purchasing mix-and-match kebabs with meat and veggies during grilling season.”

“It’s important to note: This is not just a way to stretch the meat dollar but also a way to create an even better tasting product,” Roerink said in the release. “As such, mushrooms promoted with meat offer a win-win for both categories.”

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