WGC Monthly Newsletter
In This Issue
"Make the Switch"
Sampling Day Photos
WGC Speaking Out
Med Diet Month
Quick Links

An Oldways Family Program

Oldways is a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, inspiring good health 
through cultural food traditions and lifestyles.
April 2014

Dear Whole Grains Council members,

Did you know that in addition to the monthly member email you're reading now, we also send a monthly whole grains newsletter to more than 9,000 opt-in consumers and health professionals? Our consumer/health newsletter includes tips, recipes, health information, and deals from WGC members. If you'd like to subscribe to be more aware of one of the many ways the WGC communicates with consumers, click here to learn more and sign up.

"Make the Switch" in September, for WG Month
It's official. Our theme for this year's Whole Grains Month in September, will be "Make the Switch."

Our centerpiece activity will be a recipe makeover, where 30 passionate food and nutrition bloggers will each submit a recipe that's been made over to use whole grains. We'll post the recipes on our website on September 1, then throughout the month we'll encourage consumers to try the recipes and vote for their favorites. The three bloggers whose recipes get the most votes will share $6,000 in cash prizes, PLUS -- to keep interest high -- we'll choose a voter at random to win a Whole Grain Food Basket of delicious products.

There are three ways that you can participate in our "Make the Switch" campaign:
  1. Be a Cash Sponsor. Get great PR visibility during our campaign -- and bring your company to the attention of our key bloggers! We're looking for six companies to contribute $1,000 each to our cash prize (or one company to sponsor for $6,000 and get all "naming rights").
  2. Contribute Your Product. We're also seeking donations of product for our Whole Grain Food Basket collection, for the random voter prize.
  3. Plan Your Own Activity. During September, plan an activity that echoes the theme of "Make the Switch" - a very big-tent theme that can include everything from a general call to eat more whole grains, to a specific call to make the switch to a specific product.
Contact Cynthia Harriman ([email protected] or 617-896-4820) if you'd like us to send you a more detailed PDF about our "Make the Switch" campaign.

Whole Grain Sampling Day Photo Gallery


Supermarket samplings... Sweepstakes... Whole Grain Trivia... Spot the Grain Challenges... Workplace Cafeteria Tastings... Events for our 2014 Whole Grain Sampling Day on April 2 ran the gamut. Which is, of course, the point of Whole Grain Sampling Day: partners can do whatever their imaginations can dream up, as long as their event or activity helps more people get introduced to more whole grains.

Check out our photo blog wrap-up, to get a sense of the delicious fun that took place all over the country -- and even beyond the U.S., as partner Google celebrated WGSD at 100 workplace cafés around the world. A big, big thanks to all WGC member companies who participated in this year's events. Those of you who contributed to our Whole Grain Ambassadors bloggers project got GREAT coverage for your products, as illustrated in a typical blog below! (See all blog posts here.)


Now is the time to mark your calendars for April 1, 2015 -- Whole Grain Sampling Day is always on the first Wednesday of April. Whatever promotional efforts you have on tap next spring can be linked to Sampling Day to give them extra momentum, so get creative!  

WGC Speaks Out and Spreads the Word
One way that the WGC spreads its message is by speaking at different conferences whenever possible. In the upcoming month, here's where we'll be spreading the word about whole grains:

HealthGrain Forum (Vienna, Austria)
HealthGrain Forum, a European consortium of researchers and food companies, has invited us to their spring meeting April 23-24, to share our views about how to define a whole grain food. We appreciate the opportunity to be at the table for this important discussion and will report back next month on high points of the meeting.

National Restaurant Association show (Chicago) 
We'll be taking part in two presentations at the NRA show, both on Sunday, May 18. First, the WGC will be part of a panel titled "Create a Healthier Plate." Later that day, WGC Advisory Board Chair Mike Holleman and Cynthia Harriman will offer a special "Foodamentals" session titled "A Grain of Truth" where we'll present nitty-gritty specifics on making the most of whole grains in the foodservice environment. 

Email Cynthia Harriman
if you're planning to be at the NRA show -- we'll stop by and say hello.
And of course, don't forget that plans are moving forward for our own WGC conference Whole Grains: Breaking Barriers, to be held November 9-11 in Boston. Every day we're nailing down more great media (The New York Times just confirmed) and more great speakers (Dr. David Katz just agreed to speak on the pitfalls of the Paleo diet). Check out all the details about attending and sponsoring, on our website.
Long Live the Mediterranean Diet
Or should that be "long life with the Mediterranean Diet?" Both phrases resonate with us here at Oldways (the WGC's parent organization), because we created the original Mediterranean Diet Pyramid (with the Harvard School of Public Health) in 1993. At the end of March, an Oldways team traveled to Washington, DC to exhibit at the Annual Scientific Session and Expo of the American College of Cardiologists (ACC). Our goal? To make the 13,000 cardiovascular professionals in attendance more aware of Oldways' many wonderful materials for educating patients about the Med Diet.

We got a great reception for our "Med 101" brochure, tear-pads of Mediterranean pyramids, Med grocery lists, and more. One doctor said, "I have so little time to talk about diet. This brochure will be a big help." Another said, "I've been using a handout that's been xeroxed over and over. Your materials are so much more attractive and professional." Whole grains feature prominently in our Mediterranean Diet materials - and we also passed out lots of copies of our "Whole Grains 101" brochure.
May is Med Diet Month
Speaking of the Med Diet, May is Mediterranean Diet Month.  If you're looking for a marketing hook for whole grains during May, look no further than the Med Diet! It makes a great vehicle for discussing whole grains in the context of an overall healthy diet.

Best regards,

Cynthia Harriman
Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies

Mallory Cushman
Stamp Program Manager

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