Campaign to tell consumers what’s up with whole grains

by Jeff Gelski
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MINNEAPOLIS – The Grains for Health Foundation in June plans to launch GrainUP!, a national consumer outreach program featuring the entire whole grain supply chain. The foundation is securing sponsorships from whole grain brands, producers and suppliers as well as restaurants.

“GrainUP! brings together the entire whole grain supply chain, from grower to producer to distributor to nutritionist to retailer, to become a positive, market-facing voice to counter the messages in the market place that question whole grain benefits,” said Len Marquardt, president of the Grains for Health Foundation. “By doing so, we want to remind consumers in their homes and at restaurants that whole grains are not only healthy, but affordable and delicious.”

The campaign will run through the fall. It seeks to partner with restaurants to promote whole grain items on the menu and to hold local “dine around” events in select markets with restaurants partnering to promote whole grain menu items for a select time. A national media outreach and marketing promotion will encourage consumers to take the “GrainUP! Pledge” to discover whole grain-based recipes at home in late September.

A national web site for the program will feature whole grain varieties and health and economic benefits “from amaranth to zizania.” The web site also will have digital meal planners and recipes, chef videos, information on participating restaurants and sponsors, and the pledge form. The program will use social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Organizers based the program on a Minneapolis pilot program conducted last September. In that program, 15 restaurants collaborated for 10 days with menu offerings and promotions.

Founded in 2009, the Grains for Health Foundation seeks to increase the availability of grain-based foods.
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