WGSD Logo2014week 1.jpg


Food Industry Invited to Participate In
Whole Grain Sampling Day on April 2, 2014

BOSTON, January 10, 2014 – The 3rd Annual Whole Grain Sampling Day is Wednesday, April 2,2014 and restaurants, foodservice, food trucks, supermarkets and manufacturers are invited to participate by offering special promotions and low-cost or no cost whole grain items to their patrons on that day.  

Organized by Boston-based non-profit Oldways and its Whole Grains Council (WGC), last year’s celebration (see our video) prompted millions of Americans to taste a whole lot of delicious, healthy whole grains and the momentum continues in 2014. 

“Most people only need to try a new whole grain to realize they like it,” said Cynthia Harriman, Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies for the Whole Grains Council and Oldways.  “This means that the best way to increase whole grain consumption and nudge people to better health is to find ways to help everyone try more whole grains .We invite the entire food industry to celebrate Whole Grain Sampling Day with us this year.”

In addition to helping customers discover healthy whole grains, businesses benefit by seeing increased sales and awareness from the WGC’s promotional efforts. Among the first partners signed up to participate in this year’s event are McDonald’s, Compass Group, Barilla, Healthy Dining Finder, and the American Institute of Cancer Research; past partners have included Arby’s, several supermarket chains, Cooking Light magazine and many manufacturers.  With no fees, no contract, and almost no rules—virtually anything goes, as long as it celebrates whole grains— it’s easy to join in.  Ideas include:

  • Food Trucks.  Acting as mobile sampling vehicles, food trucks from across the country are signing on to take part by highlighting whole grain items already on the menu from buckwheat noodles to whole grain breads; sampling brand new whole grain options; providing BOGO offers, and swapping out refined grain choices for whole grain.

  • Restaurants and Foodservice.  Whole Grain Sampling Day is not a one-size-fits-all operation, so there are great ways for kitchens of all sizes to take part including highlighting existing whole grain menu items; offering a free dessert or beverage when a guest purchases a dish with whole grains; holding a cooking demo with free samples; distributing coupons; and much more.

  • Supermarkets.  Many supermarket dietitians are already planning Whole Grain Sampling Day festivities including cooking demos; in-store sampling; coupons; scheduling Whole Grain Store Tours; TV appearances and more.  Registered Dietitians can sign up for the Oldways Nutrition Exchange and download a free Whole Grain Sampling Day Tool Kit for ideas/resources.

  • Manufacturers.  Food companies can take advantage of WGC’s Matchmaking Services which connect manufacturers with supermarket partners for sampling and other events; offer special coupons; contribute whole grain products to WGC’s blogger ambassador gift packs; run a sweepstakes or giveaway; introduce a new product; or create a special event (go guerilla and give out granola bars in a local park; deliver loaves of whole grain bread to a local food pantry).

To spread the word about all the worldwide sampling opportunities, the WGC is listing all participants on its website starting in early February and broadcasting news to its newsletter subscribers and social media contacts.  Plus the organization is enlisting the help of popular bloggers and other consumer press to get the word out about Sampling Day partners’ diverse activities. 

Studies show that switching to whole grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases. While benefits are most pronounced for those consuming at least 3 servings daily, some studies show reduced risks from as little as one serving daily – so every whole grain in the diet helps.

Everyone is encouraged to join in the whole grain conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #SampleWholeGrains.

To participate or for more information, contact Kelly Toups, WGC, at 617-896-4884 or kelly@oldwayspt.org. Learn more and download Sampling Day graphics, Tweets and other resources at: http://wholegrainscouncil.org/get-involved/whole-grain-sampling-day

Please contact Rachel Greenstein (rachel@oldwayspt.org or 617-896-4888) for more information, including hi-res graphics of the Whole Grain Sampling Day logo or for interviews with WGC and Oldways program managers.

About Oldways and the Whole Grains Council
Oldways is a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, with a mission to guide people to good health through heritage, using practical and positive programs grounded in science and tradition. The Whole Grains Council (WGC), an Oldways program, has been working since 2003 to increase consumption of whole grains for better health, and in 2005 introduced the Whole Grain Stamp, now used on more than 9,200 products in 41 countires. The WGC’s many initiatives help consumers to find whole grain foods and understand their health benefits; help manufacturers and restaurants to create delicious whole grain foods; and help the media write accurate, compelling stories about whole grains. You can learn more about both at http://www.oldwayspt.org and http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org.