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WGC Plans & Projects for 2024
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 increase the visibility of whole grain topics 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 — In recent years, we published a peer-reviewed article in Nutrients called Boosting Whole-Grain Utilization in the Consumer Market: A Case Study of the Oldways Whole Grains Council’s Stamped Product Database and coauthored another paper called Leveraging Partnerships to Amplify Whole Grain Messaging, published in the Journal of Cereal Science. In 2024, we will continue to look for opportunities to contribute to the scientiﬁc literature regarding whole grains.
- Consumer Insights Survey — We regularly conduct nationwide, census-representative surveys 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 spring/summer of 2024. See the results of our 2023 survey here.
Support for Health Professionals and Foodservice. We can’t be everywhere, running cooking classes, sampling events, and educational sessions, so we partner with supermarkets, hospitals, universities, restaurants, and other foodservice providers to promote hands-on tasting opportunities, webinars, and social media campaigns.
- Whole Day for Whole Grain - Our annual celebration falls on Wednesday, March 27 this year. There are countless ways to participate in our celebration highlight the ﬂavors and health beneﬁts of whole grains. In addition to encouraging partners to plan live/virtual events of their own, 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. Stay tuned for more content in 2024.
Regulatory Advocacy. We continue to be active on both the national and international stage, 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. Last year, we submitted comments to USDA FNS on the revisions in the WIC food pacakges (Jan 2023), comments to FDA on the deﬁntion of healthy (Feb 2023), and comments to FDA on Dietary Guidance Statements in Food Labeling (August 2023), along with several other oﬃcal comments to the US and South African governements. We will continue to keep an eye on regulatory changes and proposals, both here in the US and gloablly, and advocate for sensible, transparent whole grain policies wherever possible.
- 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 communications that support and promote whole grains.
Educational and promotional opportunities for WGC Member Companies.
- Whole Grain Webinar Series – Our whole grain webinar series has proven extremely popular, with topics ranging from whole grains and diabetes prevention, to today’s consumer and marketing trends, to a deep dive on sorghum, and expert tips on food photography, our webinars have attracted impressive audiences of Registered Dietitians, manufacturers, and consumer enthusiasts alike. We look forward to expanding this series further in 2024.
- Whole Grains Month – Our annual September celebration of all things whole grain oﬀers manufacturers a great opportunity for extra visibility and social media attention.