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In This Issue
2016 WG Trends
Sample Whole Grains on March 30, 2016
Harley's Tip: 100% or Basic Stamp?
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An Oldways Family Program
Oldways is a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, inspiring good health 
through cultural food traditions and lifestyles.
December 2015

Dear Oldways Whole Grains Council members,

A big thanks to all of you for working with the Oldways Whole Grains Council in 2015. 

It's been a great year, with all of us working together. Here are just a few milestones: If your colleagues ask you to summarize the value of the Whole Grain Stamp for your company, send them a copy of our "Selling More Whole Grain" infographic.

Top Whole Grain Trends for 2016
Toward the end of every year, the National Restaurant Association surveys about 1,500 top chefs to learn what the hot food trends will be for the coming year. Of course we always check the list of about 200 top trends, to keep our fingers on the pulse of whole grains. You can read the full survey here, or read our blog about it on our website. 

Some of the top whole grain trends in this year's survey include:
  • Ancient grains continue to be the top whole grain trend, with 68% of chefs calling them "hot" and 10% a "perennial favorite."
  • "Whole grains on kids menus" stayed strong, about even with last year. Let's start kids on the right road early!
  • Quinoa isn't the only popular whole grain - farro, black rice, and nonwheat flours (like buckwheat or teff) are edging ahead of this ubiquitous ancient grain, spelling good news for grain variety.
  • Interest in gluten free is waning - down 8 pts, one of the larger drops in the survey.
What chefs think matters, because whole grains continue to be less evident in restaurants than they are in homes and supermarkets. Promoting whole grains in restaurants and foodservice will be a main theme of the WGC in 2016. We'll be enlisting consumers to look for whole grains everywhere they eat next year, and to spread the word with the hashtag #SpotWholeGrains whenever they find great whole grain choices.

Whole Grain Sampling Day - March 30, 2016
Whole Grain Sampling Day - the last Wednesday of March every year - is one good way to increase the momentum of whole grains in foodservice. Already, Corner Bakery & Café (whose Chilled Berry Almond Swiss Muesli appears below left) and California Pizza Kitchen (Quinoa+Arugula Salad, below right) have committed to taking part. This year we also have some Boston area food trucks - Mei Mei (center below) and Bon Me - participating. Several more restaurants are planning their participation in WGSD so they can become known as hubs for whole grains. 

We're also building our annual "supermarket matchmaking" list for Whole Grain Sampling Day. If you're interested in giving away your whole grain products in grocery stores on March 30, we'll help you spread the word to our exclusive list of more than 400 supermarket RDs. We already have our first half-dozen WGC member companies on board. Don't miss your opportunity to join in this wholly exciting day. Download details here and contact Kelly Toups (617-896-4884 or kelly@oldwayspt.org).

Harley's Tip: 100% Stamp or Basic Stamp?

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

December Tip: Remember that products made solely with whole grains (and no refined grains) qualify for the 100% Whole Grain Stamp. Consumers are increasingly aware of the difference between the 100% Stamp and the Basic Stamp and contact us to complain when a product qualifies for the 100% Stamp but shows the Basic Stamp instead. To eliminate this kind of confusion, we'll "upgrade" your product to the 100% Stamp when it qualifies, and will tell you to use the 100% Stamp when we send our approval email. (Note that in Canada, products only qualify for the 100% Stamp if all ingredients are whole grain -- not simply all grain ingredients.)

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, including the difference between the 100% and Basic Stamps.

We hope that the final days of 2015 find you well, and we extend our wishes for happy holidays to all of you.

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