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Mushroom Council’s Food Network partnership expands awareness of The Blend

On your TV, in your email, on your favorite websites and social media, within your printed magazines, The Blend will reach more home cooks than ever this spring and summer thanks to a multifaceted marketing partnership the Mushroom Council has engaged in with Food Network.

“All told, the Food Network campaign is estimated to reach more than 90 million impressions this year, keeping mushrooms top of mind and bringing us closer to making The Blend the default choice for burger lovers,” said Sonya Beltran, Mushroom Council chairperson and director of operations, Masda Mushrooms/First Generation Farms.

The Blend is the plant-forward culinary technique of blending finely chopped, fresh mushrooms with ground meat for burgers and other dishes that are more nutritious, delicious and sustainable.

Launching May 3 and continuing throughout the summer, the multimedia collaboration with Food Network is one of the largest partnerships the Mushroom Council has ever taken on. Its aim is simple: make the blended burger the can’t-miss, must-have recipe for home cooks this burger season.

A Culminating Partnership
“This is a milestone moment for the council. The partnership developed with Food Network is, in many ways, the culmination of more than a decade of strategic efforts to raise awareness of The Blend, first at the foodservice level and, ultimately, for consumers,” said Curtis Jurgensmeyer, Mushroom Council vice chairperson and CEO of J-M Farms.

The council’s collaborations with the Culinary Institute of America and James Beard Foundation over the past decade introduced The Blend to scores of menu developers and chefs, and put blended burgers on the menus of thousands of cafeterias and restaurants nationwide, all while earning widespread media attention.

Now, the Mushroom Council’s 2021 partnership with Food Network squarely targets mass consumer audiences and features:

  • The Blended Burger Contest encourages people nationwide to enter their own blended burger recipe at FoodNetwork.com/blendedburgercontest. The contest will feature two tracks: one for home cooks and one for professional chefs, cooks or caterers. Each category will award $10,000 to the top recipe entry.
  • Blended burger centerfold spread and a special pull-out recipe booklet in Food Network Magazine. In subscribers’ mailboxes and at retail stores by May 18, Food Network Magazine’s burger-themed June issue will include a special recipe booklet entitled “Secret Ingredient: Mushrooms.” This pull-out recipe booklet showcases mushrooms in an array of mushroom plus meat blended recipes, including tacos, dan dan noodles and chili and lettuce wraps. The booklet and the centerfold ad will feature instructions on how people can make their own blended burger with a call for individuals to enter the Blended Burger Contest.
  • Blended burger recipe video featuring Food Network’s own Kardea Brown. Brown’s custom blended burger recipe, “Kardea Brown’s Southern Mushroom-Beef Burgers,” will appear on Food Network’s website, on the brand’s Facebook and Instagram pages as well as on Brown’s own Instagram page.
  • Newsletter promotions with contest call-outs presented in Food Network’s widely read e-blasts.
  • Digital ads appearing on Food Network’s websites and social media pages.

Another First: Television Ads
To boost mushroom awareness further and as a pinnacle to the collaboration with Food Network, the Mushroom Council will present its first-ever TV ad campaign. Beginning this June, a 15-second Mushroom Council ad will be seen across the network schedule. The ads will tout mushrooms, highlight The Blend and encourage participation in the Blended Burger Contest.

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