WGC Recent Accomplishments
The Whole Grains Council continues to spread the word about the health benefits and good taste of whole grains, with scores of media interviews and with many successful programs, including these recent highlights:
The Whole Grain Stamp now in 36 countries
In November 2012, the Whole Grain Stamp passed another milestone, as we registered the 8,000th product for use of the Whole Grain Stamp. As of late 2012, six different language versions of the Stamp are now being used on products in thirty-six countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico; the UK, Ireland, Greece, Poland, France, Netherlands (Kingdom of), U.A.E.; China, Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore; the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago; Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela and Mauritius.
"Whole Grains on Every Plate" conference informed industry, media, foodservice
In October 2012, we held the WGC's sixth successful conference in San Antonio, Texas. This event offered fascinating specifics on how we can get more whole grains onto plates around the world, with useful information on consumer attitudes, new ingredients, new research, and successful promotion programs. Timely topics included a review of the new guidelines for school food, the psychology of the consumer, and the gluten-free trend and supporting science.
6th Annual Whole Grains Challenge rewarded schools
We encouraged every US school (public or non-profit private) participating in the National School Lunch Program to participate in the 2012 Whole Grains Challenge – whether they are a “veteran” who’s been serving whole grains for a while now or a “rookie” who's new to the whole grain world this year. We asked them to send up their stores (and photos) explaining their best tips for successfully serving whole grains in schools – and describing any remaining barriers and challenges they face in implementing whole grains. Two Grand Prize Winners – schools in St Paul MN and Baker City OR – were awarded with a Guest Chef Workshop to help staff get inspired with ideas for more whole grain cooking. The Grand Prize winners and eight additional Top Ten schools also received case upon case of free whole grain foods to serve in their operations.
Whole Grains Month, September 2012
For 2012's Whole Grains Month celebration, we carried out three main activities.
1) Deal of the Day online calendar. WGC members posted special deals or promotions on our calendar; we unveiled a new deal every day throughout the whole month.
2) Woman's World Sweepstakes. In partnership with Woman's World magazine, we held a drawing for a $1000 grocery gift card. More than half a million entries flooded in, bringing widespread attention to whole grains.
3) EatingWell Recipe Contest. In another partnership, this time with EatingWell magazine, we ran a whole grain makeover recipe contest with cookware, gift cards, and other goodies as prizes.
Whole Grain Sampling Day launched, April 2012
We inaugurated a new event called Whole Grain Sampling Day, in 2012. This event, always held on the first Wednesday of April, invites consumers to sample more whole grains, with creative events that lower the barriers to trying new whole grain tastes. Learn more about Whole Grain Sampling Day here.
"Whole Grains – the New Norm" conference
In January 2011, we held the WGC's fifth successful conference in Portland, OR. The conference celebrated the many foodservice operations, magazines, schools, government policies, and other circumstances where whole grains are now served, depicted, and hailed, automatically, as the norm. Topics included the psychology of social norms, Foodservice trends, worldwide dietary guidelines for whole grains, and so much more.
Whole Grain Forum in Beijing
At the invitation of Chinese nutrition authorities, WGC senior managers traveled to Beijing to assist the Chinese in offering a nation-wide conference on the health benefits, labeling, and regulation of whole grains. In late 2010, China became the 21st country where shoppers can find the Whole Grain Stamp on foods.
2010 Dietary Guidelines endorsed the Whole Grain Stamp approach of 8 grams
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are updated every five years, and this time around, one change was a clarification of 8 grams of whole grain – the standard pioneered by the Whole Grain Stamp – as the minimum to consider a food as whole grain. This comes on the heels of new school food regulations earlier in January 2011, that drew on the Institute of Medicine's definition of a "whole grain rich" food as one that contains at least 8 grams of whole grain per serving.
Throughout every year, the WGC also provides a consumer hotline, by phone and email, to answer whole grain questions from the public. We also offer ongoing support to member companies, answering questions about labeling regulations and ingredients; offering marketing suggestions; and using every positive and practical means possible to encourage the creation of more and better whole grain products.