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WGC Plans & Projects for 2021
Ongoing Support for Whole Grain Education, Research and Consumption. As always, we’re working hard to educate consumers about the nutritional and culinary beneﬁts of whole grains and to help them identify whole grains when they’re buying groceries or eating out. We also provide assistance to researchers, schools and nonproﬁts to help advance the whole grain momentum.
- 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.
- Educational Materials for Schools and Nonproﬁts – Most of our educational materials, handouts, recipes, and brochures are available as free, downloadable ﬁles that anyone can access and print.
- Assistance to Researchers – We help those studying whole grains by supplying information about the whole grain content of products and by oﬀering data and insight into consumer trends. On our website we highlight the ﬁndings of whole grain research from around the world and periodically compile summaries of these studies.
- Contributions to Academic Literature — We’ve been working on a manuscript that uses our WGC Stamped Products Database to analyze whole grain trends and track the growth in availability of whole grain products over the past decade. We hope to have this published later this year.
- Consumer Insights Survey — Every three years, we conduct a nationwide, census-representative survey of consumer habits and whole grain knowledge to help us better understand how consumers are eating whole grains, where the barriers to consumption are, and where information gaps exist. We’ll be conducting our next survey in the summer of 2021. See the results of our 2018 survey here.
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 31 this year. Since live sampling events aren’t possible this year, we’re taking our celebration online. We’re encouraging folks to post 30-second videos on Instagram about their favorite whole grain foods or recipes. We’re also asking individuals, companies, and organizations to donate whole grain foods to their local food banks or food-related charities as a way of sharing the goodness of whole grains with those who need it most.
- Whole Grain Resources- We’re continually creating and updating resources and content that companies and health professionals can use with consumers, on social media, and at tradeshows. Most recently, we created a Whole Grain Crossword and Whole Grain Word Search for use in schools. Stay tuned for more content in 2021.
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.
- Oﬃcial Comments and Media Statements – We routinely submit oﬃcial comments on proposed government regulatory changes. In July 2020 we submitted comments to USDA/HHS regarding the Scientiﬁc Report from the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. In November 2020, we submitted comments to the Chinese Nutrition Society about whole grain deﬁntions and labeling, and most recently, in December 2020, we commented on the proposal from USDA FNS to restore school lunch ﬂexibilities that put children’s nutrition at risk. We also release media statements when there is breaking news – whether regulatory or scientiﬁc.
- International Whole Grain Initiatives Working Groups — The WGC team is actively involved in the international working groups that came out of the Vienna Whole Grain Summit in November 2017. These working groups are aimed at advancing consumer education and promoting whole grain consumption worldwide. This initiative is working to harmonize whole grain deﬁnitions at a global scale to provide a better foundation for research, regulation/labeling, and manufacturing, and is working to advance partnerships, research, and commuications that support and promote whole grains.
- International Whole Grain Summit – The WGC team will be working alongside international colleagues to plan the next Whole Grain Summit. We will be helping to shape the agenda and identify key topics and issues to be covered. Much like the Whole Grain Initiative working groups, the purpose of this summit is to bring together whole grain advocates from around the world to discuss and coordinate consistent strategies for regulation, labeling, research, etc.
Educational and promotional opportunities for WGC Member Companies.
- Whole Grain Webinar Series – COVID-19 put a hold on our plans for a Whole Grains Conference in Brazil in 2020, so we went virtual with our exploration of whole grain subject matter and launched a webinar series that has proven wildly popular. With topics ranging from whole grain processing, to whole grain sourdough, to the way our taste buds and food cravings change over time, our webinars have attracted impressive audiences of Registered Dietitians, manufacturers, and consumer enthusiasts alike. We look forward to expanding this series in 2021.
- Whole Grains Month – Our annual month-long celebration of all things whole grain in September oﬀers manufacturers a great opportunity for extra visibility and social media attention.