WGC banner 2015
In This Issue
Your WG Month Plans
Instagram Contest
Donate a Case of Your Products
Picking Product Categories Wisely
Sprouted Grain Standards
Directory Connects Companies with RDs
Quick Links
An Oldways Family Program

Oldways is a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, inspiring good health 
through cultural food traditions and lifestyles.
August 2015

Dear Whole Grains Council members,

What better time to be giving a shout-out to whole grains: it's Whole Grains Month in September. Tell us your plans -- and help us spread the word about ours!

Your Company's Whole Grains Month Plans
What special deals and discounts is your company offering for Whole Grains Month? We've started a special page on the WGC site to help drive traffic to your Whole Grains Month specials and activities.

Whether you're offering online retail coupons (like Better4U Foods), special discounts at your online store (like Grainful), special content on social media (like ACH), or something else, we want to hear from you so we can shine a spotlight on whatever you're doing. Email Kelly Toups (kelly@oldwayspt.org or 617-896-4884) with specifics.

Instagram Photo Contest in September
One great way you can promote your products and brand is by encouraging your followers to take part in the WGC's Instagram photo contest. We're asking people across the USA to "Share the Goodness of Whole Grains" with friends, family, neighbors and coworkers, and post a photo on Instagram. Details here.

Wouldn't it be great if lots of those photos featured your products? Here's how Kamut International jumped on the bandwagon, for example. They timed a press release for a new KamutŪ wheat product to highlight Whole Grains Month, and included this text: 

"In honor of Whole Grains Month in September, join Kamut International in celebrating the nutritional and health benefits of whole grains by posting a photo of your favorite KAMUTŪ wheat food on social media, using the Whole Grains Council's #ShareWholeGrains."

Make sure your products are on Instagram with all those KamutŪ products by revving up your fan base! We're making it easy. We've created an entire page of Whole Grains Month Tools, with graphics, Tweets, Facebook posts and more, ready to use in your efforts promoting Whole Grains Month and the contest. Check it out here. 

A big thanks to our two main contest partners: King Arthur Flour, who donated a $250 gift card for the KAF store as a prize, and Cooking Light magazine  who's sharing 10 WGC-written posts on their blog, and using their social media (167,000 followers on Instagram!) to support Whole Grains Month and the contest.

Donate a Case of your Company's Products
Another way we're going to "Share the Goodness" in September is by donating many cases of whole grain foods to a food bank or food pantry in our contest winner's home state. Will you pledge a case of your products to a good cause? If so, contact Harley Songin (harley@oldwayspt.org) and tell her what you'll be donating, so we can put your name up in lights on the donor list associated with our contest. In mid-October, we'll tell you the winning organization's name and address so you can send your case(s) directly to them.

Thank you to Freekehlicious, HomeFree Treats, TH Foods, To Your Health Sprouted Flour, Way Better Snacks, Carl Brandt / Mestemacher, and Ancient Harvest -- WGC members that have already pledged donations. Please make your pledge, so we can add it to the list on our website.


Harley's Tip: Pick the Best Product Categories

Harley Songin, who heads up our Whole Grain Stamp program, offers a monthly tip to smooth the process of product approvals. 

August Tip: When submitting products for approval, make sure to choose accurate and relevant "Product Categories" from our list. It helps consumers find your product more easily when they're searching for something specific.

If you're submitting a bagel, for instance, simply check Bagel. And then stop. Use the final "Other" category, such as "Other Breakfast" only when your product doesn't fit in any of the listed categories -- bagels don't belong there. Although we allow up to three categories per product, use extra categories ONLY when your product really straddles descriptions (a cake mix could be under both "cakes" and "mixes," for instance). 

Contact Harley (harley@oldwayspt.org or 617-896-4832) with any questions about Stamp usage or membership. This is a good time to download a copy of our Stamp Usage Guide on this page, and remind all your staff of the rules of our program, to head off problems before they can occur.

Join our Sprouted Grains Working Group
Sprouted grains are increasingly popular in the market. But what IS a sprouted grain? Aside from a limited 2008 definition crafted with help from the Whole Grains Council, there are no definitions or guidelines for sprouted grains. To help ensure consumers are getting what they think they're buying, and to help manufacturers and millers understand this key category, the Whole Grains Council is facilitating a group of experienced sprouters in exploring possible definitions and standards.

We invite you to read a summary of our initial efforts in FoodNavigator.  After our initial conference call, the group (which is expanding daily!) is now dividing into five subcommittees to explore possible criteria that could be part of a standard. If you have expertise to contribute to our Sprouted Grains Working Group, contact Cynthia Harriman (Cynthia@oldwayspt.org or 617-896-4820) to learn how you can participate in one (or more!) of our five subcommittees: sprout length, lab tests, nutrient tests, percentage sprouted, and microbial/safety.
Directory Connects Companies, RDs
The Oldways Whole Grains Council has several other sister programs, all of which are part of educational nonprofit Oldways.  One of these programs, the Oldways Nutrition Exchange (ONE) has recently launched a new ONE-Stop Resource Directory to connect food companies and commodity groups with registered dietitians and other health professionals. 

The ONE-Stop Resource Directory solves a vexing problem: Your company's website has great resources for health professionals, but no one has time to find them, buried in a sub-directory of your site. We put the key links all in one place, along with contact info for your main health-and-wellness person, making it easy to reach the health professionals that can bring your message -- about whole grains or any healthy foods! -- to consumers. Contact Deborah Plunkett, ONE Program Manager (deborah@oldwayspt.org or 617-896-4850), for information about our useful new directory.

Best regards,

Cynthia Harriman
Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies

Kelly Toups, MLA, RD, LDN
Program Manager

Harley Songin
Stamp Program Manager

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