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2008 Whole Grains Challenge

the 2008 Whole Grains Challenge.

Once again during September – which is Whole Grains Month — the Whole Grains Council ran a special awards program for all dining outlets. We received some incredible entries for the 2008 contest, illustrating how whole grains are really becoming mainstream in the hands of talented foodservice professionals. Or maybe these folks were simply motivated by our great prizes!

And the Winners Are...

In the Whole Grains Challenge, schools, hospitals, workplace cafeterias, and restaurants competed with each other in delivering the most creative and pervasive promotions of whole grain foods during the month of September - which is Whole Grains Month. To be eligible, each foodservice operation had to offer at least one whole grain choice daily. Click here to see what qualifies as "a whole grain option."

And to be one of ten category winners? Here's what the top entries did to beat the competition:

Fine Dining: Fair Hill Inn, in Elkton, MD
Fair Hill Inn takes "farm to table" literally, with their own garden, vineyard and apiary. In September, to honor the Whole Grains Challenge, Fair Hill made sure that every item on their three menus -- even dessert -- featured a whole grain. They also promoted whole grains on their website and in several direct marketing efforts to their mailing list.

Fast Casual / Family Dining: Boloco
This small Boston-based chain, with 13 locations in three states, specializes in quality ingredients - and routinely offers its signature burritos with whole wheat tortillas and brown rice.

Quick Serve: Papa John's
In 2008 Papa John's became the first national chain to offer the choice of a 100% whole wheat crust on all pizzas. This bold move - which included extensive marketing of the health benefits of whole grains - made Papa John's the winner in our Quick Serve category.

Healthcare: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Sick kids will get better faster when they're fed whole wheat pizza, Caesar shrimp in a whole grain wrap, wheatberry bread, and all the other great whole grain options served at CHOP, where the foodservice is run by Aramark.

Workplace: Restaurant Associates at Morgan Stanley
Whole Grains Action Stations... menu options like quinoa with mango and mint, or grilled pears, turkey and brie on a whole grain roll at every meal... "Did You Know?" signs, with information about different whole grains... Morgan Stanley's foodservice, at five locations in New York City, wowed the judges with their entry.

K-12 (small schools): Mattawan, MI (run by Chartwells)
The Mattawan Wildcats promoted whole grains through their breakfast program, with customized posters all over the school saying "Active Wildcats start their day with whole grains." Students choosing whole grain options got their whole grain card punched; at the end of the month cards were collected and prizes - including a kayak - were awarded at random. The promotion spilled over to lunch too, with extra whole grain choices added to the menu.

K-12 (medium schools): Newtown, CT (run by Chartwells)
What didn't Newtown do to win? Intermediate school students enjoyed whole grain samples and voted on their favorites. On field day, students took part in a special whole grains obstacle course. Staff handed out stickers to elementary students who chose whole grains at lunch (or brought them from home). The good ideas just kept coming from this school.

K-12 (large schools): Norfolk, VA (independent)
Norfolk Public Schools started serving whole grains more than 3 years, with a whole grain icon on their menus - a pioneering effort long before whole grains were widespread. This year they've added whole grain rolls for their hot dogs, meatball subs, fish hoagies, and chicken sandwiches.

Catering and Lodging: Compass Corporate Catering
Compass has partnered with the American Cancer Society to create its Meeting Well program, whose menus stipulate serving 100% whole grain bread on at least half of all sandwiches, whole grain cereals, whole grain bagels, and side dishes like brown rice, black barley, or quinoa. What a great improvement over another tray of sugary Danishes at your next business meeting!

Other: Compass Group
A special award went to Compass Group, for its 2008 National Nutrition Month Campaign called "Whole Grains 3.0." This nationwide campaign, which involved all Compass units, educated staff and consumers about the importance of consuming three servings or more of whole grain every day. Through newsletters, chef training sessions, and the distribution of recipes suited to the foodservice environment, Compass showed its commitment to whole grains.

Runners-Up and Honorable Mentions
Another dozen entries fell just short of winning but displayed so much creativity that they deserve special recognition:
Quickserve: UFood Grill, runner-up
Healthcare: Guam Memorial Hospital, runner-up; Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, honorable mention
Workplace: Restaurant Associates at Hearst Café 57, runner-up; Restaurant Associates at McKinsey & Co. and Restaurant Associates at Conde Nast, honorable mention
K-12 (small): Needville Indep. School District, TX, runner-up; Breck School, Golden Valley, MN, honorable mention
K-12 (medium): Orchard View Public Schools, Muskegon, MI, runner-up; De Soto Public Schools, MO, honorable mention
K-12 (large): San Diego Unified School District, CA, runner-up; Los Angeles Unified School District, CA, honorable mention

Winners will receive an attractive framed medal commemorating their success, a free lifetime restaurant membership in the WGC and valuable whole grain prizes detailed below - so they can serve even more whole grains to their customers.

This is the second year that the WGC has run the Whole Grains Challenge during September. Foodservice operations who missed this year's contest are invited to start planning now for the September 2009 competition.

Great Whole Grain Prizes for 2008 Winners

Prizes vary slightly, category by category, as detailed below but all category winners will receive a wonderful variety of whole grain prizes.

Category Prizes
For all winners,
in all 10 categories

a 24-lb case of Whole Grain 5 Blend (Indian Harvest Specialtifoods)
a case of Seeded Spelt Snack Crackers (Dr. Kracker)
a 20-lb case of Heartland Whole Wheat pasta (AIPC)
90 one-ounce bags of Black Bean & Salsa Tortilla Chips (Barrel O' Fun Snacks)
a 20-lb case of granola (Nature's Hand)
a case of Minute® Instant Whole Grain Brown Rice (Minute® Rice -Riviana)
a case of Minute® Ready to Serve Whole Grain Brown Rice (Minute® Rice -Riviana)
pizza crusts (Rustic Crust)
12 lbs of granola, in three flavors (Partners, a Tasteful Choice Company)
a case of Artisan Stone-ground Organic Wheat Crackers (Partners)
a 50-lb box of Honey Whole Grain Bread (Caravan Ingredients)

Quick Serve everything listed as "for all winners" PLUS...
a case of Soy-full Heart Wheat, Soy & Flax Flatbreads (Tumaro's Gourmet Tortillas)
2 cases Low Fat Granola without Raisins (Kellogg)
whole grain hamburger buns (Aunt Millie's)
5 cases of any three breakfast stuffed sandwiches (Natural Harmony Foods)
a case of 36 single serve multigrain granola (Partners)
Family / Casual everything listed as "for all winners" PLUS...
2 cases Low Fat Granola without Raisins (Kellogg)
whole grain dinner rolls (Aunt Millie's)
5 cases of any three breakfast stuffed sandwiches (Natural Harmony Foods)
a 15-lb case of Gourmet Harvest Fruit Multigrain granola (Partners)
1 case of UpSides™ Pearl Couscous & Red Grains (UpSides by Simplot)
1 case of UpSides™ Exotic Grains & Fire-roasted Vegetables (UpSides by Simplot)
1 case of UpSides™ Hearty Grains & Wild Mushroom (UpSides by Simplot)
Fine Dining
everything listed as "for all winners" PLUS...
2 cases Low Fat Granola without Raisins (Kellogg)
2 cases Artisan Stone-ground Organic Wheat Crackers (Partners)
Lodging / Catering
everything listed as "for all winners" PLUS...
2 cases Low Fat Granola without Raisins (Kellogg)
a case of TLC® Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars (Kashi)
a case of Nutri-Grain® Apple Cinnamon Cereal Bars (Kellogg)
whole grain individually wrapped muffins (Aunt Millie's)
5 cases of any three breakfast stuffed sandwiches (Natural Harmony Foods)
a 15-lb case of Gourmet Harvest Fruit Multigrain granola (Partners)
1 case of UpSides™ Pearl Couscous & Red Grains (UpSides by Simplot)
1 case of UpSides™ Exotic Grains & Fire-roasted Vegetables (UpSides by Simplot)
1 case of UpSides™ Hearty Grains & Wild Mushroom (UpSides by Simplot)
K-12 Public Schools
everything listed as "for all winners" PLUS...
a case of Soy-full Heart Wheat, Soy & Flax Flatbreads (Tumaro's Gourmet Tortillas)
a case of Strawberry Delights (Fieldstone Bakery)
a case of Frosted Flakes® Gold bowls (Kellogg)
a case of Whole Grain Strawberry Pop Tarts (Kellogg)
a case of assorted Nutri-Grain® Cereal Bars (Kellogg)
a case of Crunchmania™ Strawberry Waffle snacks (Kellogg)
Healthy Goodness Whole Grain White Bread (Aunt Millie's)
5 cases of any three breakfast stuffed sandwiches (Natural Harmony Foods)
a case of 36 single serve multigrain granola (Partners)
K-12 Private Schools
everything listed as "for all winners" PLUS...
a case of Soy-full Heart Wheat, Soy & Flax Flatbreads (Tumaro's Gourmet Tortillas)
a case of Strawberry Delights (Fieldstone Bakery)
a case of Frosted Flakes® Gold bowls (Kellogg)
a case of Whole Grain Strawberry Pop Tarts (Kellogg)
a case of assorted Nutri-Grain® Cereal Bars (Kellogg)
a case of Crunchmania™ Strawberry Waffle snacks(Kellogg)
whole grain individually wrapped muffins (Aunt Millie's)
5 cases of any three breakfast stuffed sandwiches (Natural Harmony Foods)
College / University
everything listed as "for all winners" PLUS...
a case of Low Fat Granola with Raisins (Kellogg)
a case of Heart to Heart® cereal (Kashi)
a case of Whole Grain Strawberry Pop Tarts (Kellogg)
a case of TLC® Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars (Kashi)
whole grain individually wrapped muffins (Aunt Millie's)
5 cases of any three breakfast stuffed sandwiches (Natural Harmony Foods)
a case of 36 single serve multigrain granola (Partners)
1 case of UpSides™ Pearl Couscous & Red Grains (UpSides by Simplot)
1 case of UpSides™ Exotic Grains & Fire-roasted Vegetables (UpSides by Simplot)
1 case of UpSides™ Hearty Grains & Wild Mushroom (UpSides by Simplot)
Workplace
everything listed as "for all winners" PLUS...
a case of Whole Grain Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts (Kellogg)
a case of Heart to Heart® Instant Oatmeal-in-a-cup (Kashi)
a case of TLC® Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars (Kashi)
whole grain Super Sub rolls (Aunt Millie's)
5 cases of any three breakfast stuffed sandwiches (Natural Harmony Foods)
a case of 36 single serve multigrain granola (Partners)
1 case of UpSides™ Pearl Couscous & Red Grains (UpSides by Simplot)
1 case of UpSides™ Exotic Grains & Fire-roasted Vegetables (UpSides by Simplot)
1 case of UpSides™ Hearty Grains & Wild Mushroom (UpSides by Simplot)
Healthcareeverything listed as "for all winners" PLUS...
a case of Whole Grain Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts (Kellogg)
a case of Heart to Heart® Instant Oatmeal-in-a-cup (Kashi)
a case of TLC® Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars (Kashi)
Healthy Goodness Light fiber for Life Whole Grain Bread (Aunt Millie's)
5 cases of any three breakfast stuffed sandwiches (Natural Harmony Foods)
a 15-lb case of Gourmet Harvest Fruit Multigrain granola (Partners)
1 case of UpSides™ Pearl Couscous & Red Grains (UpSides by Simplot)
1 case of UpSides™ Exotic Grains & Fire-roasted Vegetables (UpSides by Simplot)
1 case of UpSides™ Hearty Grains & Wild Mushroom (UpSides by Simplot)
Other
everything listed as "for all winners" PLUS...
a case of Whole Grain Strawberry Pop Tarts (Kellogg)
a case of TLC® Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars (Kashi)
a case of assorted Nutri-Grain® Cereal Bars (Kellogg)
whole grain individually wrapped muffins (Aunt Millie's)
5 cases of any three breakfast stuffed sandwiches (Natural Harmony Foods)

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