For the past several years, chefs have faced increasing pressure and scrutiny to serve healthier meals that reduce calories and sodium, are better for sustainability and still taste delicious. The challenge to achieve that intersection between nutrition-sustainability-flavor is at the core of innovation within America’s food system.
The Blend was born out of a collaboration between the Mushroom Council and the Culinary Institute of America to study the flavor-enhancing properties of mushrooms and, specifically, the appeal of blending mushrooms with ground meat. The Mushroom Council needed help to build demand for The Blend with a long-term goal to develop adoption among home cooks nationwide and to grow overall mushroom consumption.
Enter the Blended Burger Project and the “Blenditarian” campaign, two overlapping initiatives designed to educate food industry influencers and early adopter consumers in restaurants and at home about the benefits of blending mushrooms with meat.
The Blended Burger Project is an annual collaboration with the James Beard Foundation, challenging chefs nationwide to create their own rendition of a blended burger and feature it on their menu for two months.
The Blenditarian campaign leverages social media activities, influencer partnerships, grassroots event sampling and national media outreach to educate consumers about the sustainability, flavor and nutritional benefits of The Blend and encourage them to become blenditarians.
The Blended Burger Campaign has achieved:
— 4,500 media placements in top-tier consumer and trade outlets including Food Network Magazine, Food & Wine, Forbes, The TODAY Show, Fast Company and Restaurant Business
— More than 85 million social/digital impressions
— More than 500 chefs participated in the Blended Burger Project
— Thousands of people taking the blenditarian pledge to eat more mushrooms
— We partnered with Sonic and began testing a new burger that blended mushrooms with beef in 2017