BOSTON — Boston-based non-profit Oldways and its Whole Grains Council will celebrate the third annual Whole Grain Sampling Day on April 2 by encouraging restaurants, food service, food trucks, supermarkets and manufacturers to participate by offering special promotions and low-cost or no cost whole grain items to their patrons on that day.

“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.”

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.

The W.G.C. offered several suggestions on how to participate, including:

Food trucks. 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 bread; sampling new whole grain options; and swapping out refined grain choices for whole grain.

Restaurants and food service.  According to the W.G.C., kitchens of all sizes may take part in various ways, 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; and distributing coupons.

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

Manufacturers.  Food companies may take advantage of W.G.C.’s Matchmaking Services that connect manufacturers with supermarket partners for sampling and other events; offer special coupons; contribute whole grain products to W.G.C.’s blogger ambassador gift packs; run a sweepstakes or giveaway; introduce a new product; or create a special event.

The W.G.C. will list all participants on its web site starting in early February and broadcast news to its newsletter subscribers and social media contacts. 

To participate or for more information, contact Danita Boyce, W.G.C., at (617) 896-4880 or Learn more and download Sampling Day graphics, Tweets and other resources at: