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WGC Plans & Projects for 2018
Consumer Outreach and Attitudes. As always, we’re working hard to understand consumer attitudes toward whole grains and to increase demand for whole grains in all forms, including sprouted grains. 2018 projects include:
Whole Grain Consumer Insight Survey — Our last survey about consumer attitudes, Stamp recognition, and general knowledge of whole grains was conducted in 2015. In July, we’ll be partnering again with a market research ﬁrm to conduct an updated survey which will provide our members with valuable consumer information.
Whole Grains Around the World book — Our new whole grain menu-plan book, designed to move consumers beyond brown rice and whole wheat toast, is set to publish in late March. Each of the four weeks focuses on recipes and grains associated with a diﬀerent cultural cuisine — Mediterranean, African, Latin American, and Asian.
Media advocacy — We respond to frequent media inquiries and ﬁeld regular interviews about the health beneﬁts of whole grains and about the latest industry trends. We work to push the whole grain momentum forward by helping journalists write accurate and compelling stories about whole grains, in both the consumer press and the trade press.
Support for Health Professionals and Foodservice. We can’t be everywhere, running demos and sampling events, so we partner with supermarkets, hospitals, universities and other foodservice providers to promote hands-on tasting opportunities and other activities
- Whole Grain Sampling Day - Our annual celebration falls on Wednesday, March 28 this year. For a full list of live events planned around the country, check out our map of scheduled activities.
- We’re continually creating and updating resources and content that companies and health professionals can use with consumers, on social media, and at tradeshows. Next up: we’re creating a new “anatomy of a whole grain” poster and a set of infographic-based posters focused on whole grains & sustainability, and baking with whole grains. We’re developing new handouts and having many of our most popular handouts translated into Spanish.
Regulatory Advocacy. We continue to be active on both the national and international level, in advocating for clear whole grain deﬁnitions and supportive dietary guidelines.
Our next round of meetings with FDA oﬃcials in Washington DC is scheduled for early April. This is something we do regularly to make sure that we have a voice in any issues involving whole grains, on behalf of member companies.
2020 Dietary Guidelines – We’ve always got our eye on the regulatory decisions on the horizon and will be very actively supporting and advocating for a strong role for whole grains in the 2020 Dietary Guidelines. We also routinely submit oﬃcial comments on other proposed government regulatory changes (most recently, in January we submitted comments to USDA FNS on child nutrition program ﬂexibilities for whole grains).
International Whole Grain Initiative Working Groups — Kelly Toups and Caroline Sluyter are each co-chairing one of the six international working groups that came out of the Vienna Whole Grain Summit in November 2017. Both the working groups that the WGC is involved with are aimed at advancing consumer education and promoting whole grain consumption worldwide by supporting the development of Public-Private Partnerships and by assembling science-based arguments to counter common grain myths. Overall, this initiative is working to harmonize whole grain deﬁnitions worldwide, to provide a better foundation for research, regulation/labeling and manufacturing.
Educational and promotional opportunities for WGC Member Companies.
- Whole Grains Conference in Seattle, WA, November 4-6 — Our conference oﬀers participating companies the opportunity to network and learn about cutting-edge trends and industry best-practices. Our agenda is packed with presentations from leading experts and our audience is ﬁlled with media representatives, food service operators, chefs, manufacturers, RDs, and scientists.
- Whole Grains Month - Our annual month-long celebration of all things whole grain oﬀers manufacturers a great opportunity for extra visibility and social media attention.