Whole Grain Sampling Day
What if there were one day when, everywhere you went, there were opportunities to try delicious whole grain foods?
You'd stop into the cafeteria at your workplace, and you'd be offered a taste of quinoa salad. You'd visit the supermarket, and one of those friendly sampling ladies would ask if you'd like to try a new whole grain pretzel. Your teenager would duck into a quick-serve restaurant, and they'd ask, "Would you like that on a whole grain wrap, instead of the usual bun?" In the park downtown, a food company would be passing out granola bars to joggers. At dinner, as you serve whole grain pasta to your family, your fourth-grader would report about the whole grain pizza in her school lunch.
That's what happens every year on the last Wednesday in March, when the Whole Grains Council holds its annual Whole Grain Sampling Day. Our goal is to have people everywhere saying, "That was great! Where have you been all my life?"
According to a 2014 survey by the International Food Information Council, 72% of consumers are seeking more whole grains. Whole Grains also feature strongly in the National Restaurant Association's "What's Hot for 2015" survey of chefs, including "Whole Grains in Kids' Meals" as the top Kids' Meal trend behind the generic "Healthful Kids' Meals". This year, give customers what they're looking for by celebrating Whole Grain Sampling Day!
Check out our video, below, to get inspired about Whole Grain Sampling Day.
Whole Grain Sampling Day 2015 was a great success! This year's committed partners included:
- American Institute of Cancer Research
- Atlantic Superstore
- Boston University
- Brigham and Women's Hospital
- C&S Wholesale Grocers
- California Pizza Kitchen
- California State University Los Angeles
- Carl Brandt / Mestemacher Bread
- Chadwick R-1 School District (Chadwick, MO)
- Columbus Regional Hospital (Columbus, IN)
- Compass Group
- Earth Fare Markets
- Franciscan St Anthony Health (Michigan City)
- Genghis Grill
- Gourmet Any Day Market & Café (Amesbury, MA)
- Grain Foods Foundation
- Grain Place Foods
- Healthy Dining Finder
- Home Baking Association
- Hy-Vee Supermarkets
- Jenkins-White Elementary School (Augusta, GA)
- King Soopers/City Market
- La Brea Bakery
- Lotus Foods
- Maschio's Food Service, Inc. (Serving schools in NJ)
- Martin's Super Markets
- Merchant Gourmet
- National Restaurant Association
- Niemann Foods/County Market
- OFS Optics (Avon, CT)
- Omaha Tribe of Nebraska
- Panda Express
- Richmond County School Nutrition Program (Augusta, GA)
- Sweet Sassy Molassy Bakeshop (Atlanta, GA)
- University of Florida Family Nutrition Program (select schools)
- WakeMed Cary Hospital (Cary, NC)
- Washington Pediatrics (Washington, NC)
- Way Better Snacks
- Weis Markets
- Wheat Foods Council
- Whole Foods Market (select stores)
- WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) - select offices
Click here to see details on how our partners participated.
Previous whole grain sampling day events
Looking for more ideas on how to get involved? Our partners are full of inspiration and innovation. Check out how Whole Grain Sampling Day was celebrated during previous years:
3 simple steps for Sampling Day Partners
Did you miss the fun? Start thinking about 2016 when you can be a Whole Grain Sampling Day partner too. Just follow the three simple steps below.
1. Learn How -- and Why -- to Take Part in Whole Grain Sampling Day 2016
Click on the links below to download the PDF for your segment, with ideas, inspiration and specifics on how you can take part! There's no fee and almost no rules -- just choose a plan of action that matches your marketing goals.
2. Sign Up Officially as a WGSD Partner
Click here to fill out our online WGSD Partners form. Right up through Sampling Day, we'll list our partners' plans and activities here on our website, to help drive traffic and media attention to your good ideas. Signing up is not required, but who doesn't like free publicity? The sooner you sign up, the more visibility you get.
3. Download Resources to Help Implement Your WGSD Plans
The Whole Grains Council provides a full suite of resources for companies and organizations planning to take part in Whole Grain Sampling Day. Use the links below to access useful tools to help you participate.
Get Social Media Inspiration
Once you've planned your 2016 WGSD events and promotions, you'll want to talk them up on social media, from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Pinterest. One place to start is our collection of WGSD Tweets. Click here to download Tweets. And if you write your own, use the hashtag #SampleWholeGrains.
Plan a Whole Grain Trivia Contest
Check out our Whole Grain Trivia Contest Kit, which comes with resources and questions that are a perfect addition to any whole grain promotion.
Customize a Press Release
Download this customizable press release to announce your Whole Grain Sampling Day plans and build momentum.
Explain the Benefits of Whole Grains
Our "Whole Grains 101" Welcome to Whole Grains brochure explains why everyone should enjoy more whole grains. It makes a great handout in conjunction with your WGSD events and promotions. There are three great options for taking advantage of this brochure:
• You can order the brochure pre-printed, at cost, from the Oldways Store. (Oldways is the parent organization of the Whole Grains Council.)
• You can download a PDF and print it yourself or provide a link on your website.
• We can co-brand the brochure with your logo, and supply you a PDF you can take to your printer or make available electronically. Contact Kelly Toups (617-896-4884) if you'd like to learn how we can work with you to co-brand our Whole Grains 101 brochure.
Want other handouts, including information in Spanish? We have plenty of them here on our website. We also have a Whole Grains Store Tour, perfect for RDs and other health professionals who would like to educate shoppers about whole grains.
Order Buttons, Stickers and Posters
We offer buttons, stickers and posters at cost to commercial ventures – and free to nonprofits and educational groups. Click here to see what's available and find out how to order.
Download Graphics for Sampling Day Partners
Need graphics to promote your Whole Grain Sampling Day events and activities? We've got just what you need. Click anywhere on the image below to access a full page of graphics choices to make signs, table tents, t-shirts and banners, or to liven up your website and social media posts.