Our monthly summary of how you can make the most of your Whole Grains Council membership.

WGC April 2016 Member Newsletter
Dear Whole Grains Council members,

Quinoa now appears on an impressive 20% of all fast-casual menus, according to DataEssentials, and overall menuing of whole grains has increased 40% in the last four years. What's more, nearly a third of consumers are interested in - and would pay more for - menu items that feature whole grains, according to a survey by Mintel, and one in five of those surveyed say they order more whole grains in restaurants than they did a year ago.

 Check out these numbers and more, on whole grain trends in restaurants, on the WG Statistics page of our website.
Register Today for our Conference:
"Whole Grains Away From Home" 
Online registration for our next WGC conference is now open. The conference, titled "Whole Grains Away From Home," will take place September 25-27, 2016 in Chicago. Given the impressive momentum described above, our main theme will be foodservice (as you might have guessed from the name!), as we focus on the best ways to source, market and serve whole grains in restaurants, cafeterias, QSRs, and everywhere else whole grains are eaten away from home.

Register now, and take advantage of the fact that the first registration from each WGC member company is free. Additional member registrations are nearly half off the standard rate. Save even more on your additional registrations, with our early-bird rate, effective through the end of July. Our last conference in 2014 sold out, so reserve your spot now. Contact Kelly Toups (kelly@oldwayspt.org or 617-896-4884) if you have questions about the important topics we'll be covering at our Whole Grains Away From Home conference.
Commit now as a Conference Sponsor

Want great visibility for the products and services your company offers to the foodservice market? Commit now as a conference sponsor, and get your message in front of foodservice operators, distributors, and key media who'll be attending this event. Sponsorships range from $5,000 to $35,000; check out the details on costs and benefits here.

As a sponsor, you'll be in good company. Already, six WGC members have signed on as sponsors: Ardent Mills (Project Sponsor); Bob's Red Mill (Event Sponsor); Bay State Milling, General MIlls, Lundberg Family Farms, and United Sorghum Checkoff Project (Benefactor Sponsors). A big thank you to all our current - and future - sponsors. Contact Cynthia Harriman (cynthia@oldwayspt.org or 617-896-4820) to learn more about sponsorship or to schedule a "Listen and Learn" call to share your experience with whole grains in the foodservice market.

Share your Foodservice Videos 
Our September conference is just one of the many initiatives the Oldways Whole Grains Council is undertaking this year to promote whole grains in foodservice. We're also creating a collection of videos to inspire and inform foodservice outlets' whole grain efforts.

Has your company created useful videos that could make a valuable contribution to this collection? Perhaps you've got a video of your corporate chef preparing whole grain pasta, or your baking expert sharing techniques on whole wheat bread. Maybe you've got tips on preparing and storing intact grains, or for making grain salads. Send links for any videos to Kelly Toups (kelly@oldwayspt.org or 617-896-4884) and we'll review them for possible inclusion in our video collection.
Harley's Tip: Enter your 12-digit UPC 

Harley Songin, who heads up our Whole Grain Stamp program and handles WGC member service, offers a monthly tip for getting your products reviewed and approved as smoothly as possible.

April Tip: When submitting products for Stamp review, make sure to include the 12 digit UPC whenever possible. It's not a required field (since some foreign and foodservice products don't have one), but having the UPC for every possible item makes keeping track of your products much easier and more efficient, and allows us to more easily track when there are duplicate submissions in the system. If the UPC is not available, please leave this field BLANK, as this field is built for numbers only.

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.
How Mediterranean is Your Diet? Take our Quiz! 

May is International Mediterranean Diet Month, and whole grains play a key role in the health benefits of the popular Mediterranean Diet. If you sell Mediterranean inspired whole grain foods like pasta, risotto mixes, or artisan bread, or intact grains like spelt, or farro, Med Month makes a perfect theme for your social media and other marketing efforts in May. We make it easy: our sister program, the Oldways Mediterranean Foods Alliance, has created a light-hearted online quiz titled "How Mediterranean is Your Diet?" and crafted a selection of graphics and Tweets to make it easy to feature Med Month on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even your main website.
Our advice? Grab a graphic from Dropbox, link the quiz URL to it, and you've got an instant online success. Contact Ashley Owen, Oldways PR & Media Manager (ashley@oldwayspt.org or 617-896-4888) with any questions.

Cynthia Harriman
Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies

Kelly Toups, MLA, RD, LDN
Program Director

Harley Songin
Stamp Program Manager

... and from all of the Oldways and Whole Grains Council staff
Oldways is a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization inspiring good health through cultural food traditions and lifestyles. The Oldways Whole Grains Council is only one of our many successful programs. Check out our website to learn more