The Whole Grains Council held its first-ever National Whole Grains Sampling Day on April 4, with participation from large chains including A&P, Hy-Vee, Giant Eagle and others, according to an article from Supermarket News.
The first official whole grains sampling day also marked the first time supermarkets participated to such a large extent in the Whole Grains Council’s promotions. Until recently, the council had focused on the foodservice arena to help promote whole grain products, especially during Whole Grains Month in September. This was the first year council officials reached out to supermarkets and their suppliers to encourage them to participate in sampling day.
“The response we got was great,” Cynthia Harriman, the Whole Grains Council’s director of food and nutrition strategies, said in an interview with SN. Retailers that SN spoke with were enthusiastic.
“We were happy to have the opportunity to participate,” Jacqueline Gomes, A&P’s corporate registered dietitian, told SN. “We think these [types of events] are important to our customers and we want to be their health and wellness destination.”
A&P, which launched its own “Wellness Factor Tag” system earlier this year to designate items with particular health attributes, sampled dill and olive oil flavored Triscuits in at least 65 of its stores last week. Associates also directed customers to other whole grain products carrying the Wellness Factor Tag.
Others, like Mariano’s Fresh Market, Arlington Heights, Ill., emphasized some ways customers can cook whole grains.
Skogen’s Festival Foods, Onalaska, Wis., brought out new deli-made salads to sample. As part of its just-recently launched Eat Well at Festival Foods program, the deli has developed 10 new salads that meet certain nutrient criteria, thus meeting the Eat Well program’s requirements.
Meanwhile, at a Davenport, Iowa, Hy-Vee store, registered dietitian Kristen Decker sampled Uncle Sam’s original, a cereal that’s made up of rolled wheat and flax seeds.
“It was great that the council connected us up with resources. It’s so important to be educating the public more widely about whole grains,” Decker said.
Consumers are getting more attuned to adding whole grains to their diets, Harriman at the Whole Grains Council said.
“Research shows whole grain breads have risen 70 percent in sales since 2005,” Harriman said. That was the year of the government’s new food guidelines and the send-off of the council’s whole grain stamp.Read the article in its entirety here: http://supermarketnews.com/bakery/retailers-participate-whole-grains-sampling-day.