Whole Grains Sampling Day set for April 4

by Eric Schroeder
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BOSTON — Oldways and the Whole Grains Council are sponsoring the first National Whole Grain Sampling Day, set for the April 4.

According to the W.G.C., the event, which is expected to become an annual event, has a three-fold mission: To show consumers how delicious whole grains can be; to encourage chefs and kitchens everywhere to make whole grains an everyday offering; and to give manufacturers an opportunity to tout their new whole grain choices.

“Research shows that taste is growing as the reason people choose whole grains, so by partnering with restaurants, food companies and the media we plan to ‘wow’ people on National Whole Grain Sampling Day,” said Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutrition strategies for the W.G.C. and Oldways. “All incentives — free samples, coupons or a whole grain gift with purchase — help get whole grains into the mouths of consumers, our ultimate goal.”

Among the groups that already have agreed to participate in the event is Compass Group, a food management company that serves more than 6 million people a day.

“Tastings are a great way to reduce the fear of the unknown that some customers have when trying a new food,” said Deanne Brandstetter, M.B.A., R.D., vice-president of nutrition and wellness for Compass North America. “We use this strategy often to introduce new healthful foods. We are excited to participate in the first Whole Grain Sampling Day.”

Arby’s restaurant chain also plans to participate in the event.

“We see this as a great opportunity to highlight the whole grain options available on every sandwich at Arby’s,” said Jo Ann Herold, vice-president of brand marketing for Arby’s.

The W.G.C. said it will list all participating activities and promotions on its web site, www.wholegrainscouncil.org.

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