WGC Monthly Newsletter
In This Issue
Grains for a Cause
Foodservice Event
Conference in 2015
WG Sampling Day
Med Diet Month
Quick Links
An Oldways Family Program

Oldways is a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, with a mission to guide people to good health through heritage.
April 2013

Dear Whole Grains Council members,

Life is returning to normal here at the Oldways / WGC offices, just four blocks from the Boston Marathon finish line. A big thank you for the emails we received from many of you who knew we were in the thick of last week's tragedy. Though we were extremely shaken, we are grateful that no one in our immediate circle was injured.

We are eager to move forward now and get back to promoting whole grains. This month's newsletter will update you on the major promotions the WGC is planning now and in the next couple of years. We've used bold text to highlight the ways you can take advantage of these marketing opportunities.
Good Grains for a Good Cause -- Sept. 2013
We're planning an exciting promotion as our centerpiece for this year's Whole Grains Month in September: a giveaway of whole grains to support charity. We'll be inviting people across the country to nominate their favorite food pantry, soup kitchen or other Good Cause with a food-centered mission, then we'll be picking a random winning organization (maybe more than one) to receive whole grain products. To build excitement and prime the pump, we'll spotlight WGC members and the charities they already contribute to.

WGC members have three ways to participate, and we hope you'll do all three:
  1. Donate your products (and/or a cash prize) to build up our prize "pot." If we get enough donations, we'll have multiple winners.
  2. Tell us about your existing charitable donations of whole grains. We'll feature your logo and your favorite charity on the WGC website.
  3. Promote your charity through your own social media channels: the more nominations we receive for your favorite cause, the bigger the chances they'll come out on top in our random drawing.
Contact Mallory Cushman (mallory@oldwayspt.org or 617-896-4832) if you'd like to be part of our Good Grains giveaway. This is your chance to do some good -- and get good visibility for your brand or company at the same time.

Whole Grains on Every Menu -- 2014 event
Sweet Potato with Tuxedo Barley from Indian Harvest Although whole grains are surging in retail channels, the WGC wants to encourage more momentum in foodservice for including whole grain options on menus. With that in mind, we're planning a two-day event in 2014 where foodservice personnel can see expert chefs cook and bake with whole grains, and can experiment themselves.

If your company is passionate about whole grains in foodservice, we'd like your input as we plan this event. Contact Karen Mansur (karen@oldwayspt.org or 617-896-4880) if you'd like to be part of an informal planning group. Your commitment will be minimal in terms of time (a few conference calls and some emails) but invaluable in helping us make this the best possible event.
The Whole Grain Stamp Turns 10 -- in 2015
Some of you have asked us when the next WGC conference will take place, so that you can work it into your marketing and travel budgets. It will be in the first half of 2015, when we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Whole Grain Stamp. This will be a big event, as we honor everything the WGC has accomplished and spread the word about where whole grains are heading in the future. Stay tuned over the coming months for more information on date and location.

And yes, if you want to be a sponsor you can tell Karen anytime. Already two WGC members have stepped up to the plate!
Whole Grain Sampling Day -- 2013 and 2014
Though most of this email is about the future, we'd like to look back and thank all of you who participated in Whole Grain Sampling Day 2013, on this past April 3. Our 20 Whole Grain Ambassador bloggers did a great job talking up whole grains to their many followers -- those of you who donated products for the bloggers' Goody Boxes got great coverage! You can check out the links to these great blogs on our Whole Grain Sampling Day roundup, where you'll also find a list of our many other partners, who offered everything from foodservice tastings to supermarket samplings.

Speaking of supermarket samplings, we were pleased to see that the special Sampling Day Toolkit we created in conjunction with the Oldways Nutrition Exchange (a sister program reaching out to supermarket dietitians) provided great inspiration. A supermarket RD at Hy-Vee in Austin, MN, told us she went all out for Whole Grain Sampling Day, with a local TV segment that later ran on a loop in the store, a special blog post on "Supermarket Secrets to Finding Whole Grains," a display, and a cooking demo. Contact Cynthia Harriman (cynthia@oldwayspt.org or 617-896-4820) if you'd like to learn more about how your company can reach out to supermarket RDs.

Here in Boston on Sampling Day we once again commandeered an amphibious Duck Boat and passed out 5,000 whole grain samples around the city to grateful pedestrians (and a very surprised touring choral group from Washington who perhaps wondered if this was an everyday event in Boston!) We even stopped at Mayor Menino's office to give him his own gift bag. 

Don't let next year's celebration (on April 2, 2014) sneak up on you. Work Whole Grain Sampling Day into your long-range plans now, and take advantage of the synergies that happen when all of us draw attention to whole grains at the same time.
International Med Diet Month in May
You may have noticed that interest in the Mediterranean Diet has surged in the past few months, on the heels of a major clinical trial showing that this gold-standard eating pattern may cut heart attacks and stroke by an estimated 30%. Whole grains are -- of course -- part of the Mediterranean Diet, so you may want to tie your brands to this shooting star. Oldways, our parent organization, created the original Mediterranean Diet Pyramid 20 years ago, and we remain the leading voice for the Med Diet. 

Contact Hannah Weisman (hannah@oldwayspt.org or 617-896-4884) if you'd like to learn more about the Mediterranean Foods Alliance, another sister program of the WGC. May is International Mediterranean Diet Month, so strike now while the iron is hot!
Best regards,

Cynthia Harriman
Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies

Karen Mansur
Program Manager

Mallory Cushman
Program Assistant

... and from all of the Oldways and Whole Grains Council staff