Leading the Industry in Grain Promotion & Research
Marcia Scheideman, MS, RD
Wheat Foods Council
The Wheat Foods Council (WFC) is positioning itself to improve the well-being of Americans in 2005-2006 and beyond with a new team of resourceful leaders, dedicated members and a program of work that will educate consumers about the importance of eating grain foods, both whole and enriched, for their nutritional benefits and role in reduction of certain diseases. At the same time, the council will build upon science supporting the healthfulness of grain foods in the diet with the launch of a Nutrition Research Initiative.
The only industry-wide partnership dedicated to increasing awareness of grains as an essential part of a healthy diet through nutrition information, research, education and promotion, WFC provides members of the snack and baking industry and your customers with resources that help spread the word about the goodness of grains. At the same time, we are your voice, with agency leaders involved in shaping our nation’s agriculture and food policy.
Marketing experts recognize the power of third-party credibility. The Wheat Foods Council is a third party, responsible for generating positive media stories and gaining support from health professionals about grains in the diet. A recent survey of health professionals revealed that WFC is seen as a “highly credible source” of information by the professional community.
Mothers between the ages of 24 and 54 are most likely to make purchasing decisions regarding food. Because of this marketing reality, the 2005-2006 WFC Communications Program features “Mom, the Everyday Athlete,” with a focus on grain foods as the primary source of energy.
Using an overall theme of “Grains Are Golden,” the WFC will emphasize to media, health professionals and policymakers that athletes, including moms, need to get most of their calories from carbohydrates. Grains are rich in this vital nutrient. The overall strategy is to build upon the 2005 Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid by capitalizing on recommendations to eat more whole grains while overcoming confusing messages about the healthfulness of foods made from white flour.
Tools in the WFC’s 2005-2006 program to help communicate these messages loud and clear include:
Mat Release — These are three ready-to-use articles made available to editors featuring English and Spanish versions of the facts and fiction surrounding wheat and grain foods and “Mom, the Everyday Athlete.”
News Bureau — This department conducts media outreach in both a proactive and reactive fashion to secure ongoing media attention for grain messages. It will include customized pitching, editorial calendar development and service as an outlet to promote new science and other timely messages.
Press Kit — Showing how “Wheat Works” and combating selective coverage of grain-based foods such as the good vs. bad myths regarding whole grains and enriched grains, these materials will be packaged for media and health professionals to promote new wheat foods information and story angles. This will feature “Mom, the Everyday Athlete” and provide ways to implement MyPyramid messages. It also will include a comprehensive guide for grain-based food information.  
Spokesperson — A respected spokesperson will be leveraged who, in addition to the WFC president, will support messaging with credibility and empower consumers to reach their food and fitness goals.
Co-op SMT — Two satellite media tours that feature WFC messages will be broadcast nationally. The focus of these tours will be, first, health/fitness and “mom” and, second, a quilt cuisine of regional and ethnic foods using all six classes of wheat.
Health Professional Fact Sheets — Educators will have access to downloadable tools that will help them teach about the benefits of grain foods in both English and Spanish.
Health Professional Newsletter — A quarterly newsletter (Wheat Works) will provide compelling health and nutrition information to influential health professionals.
Other initiatives included in the 2005-2006 program year are policymaker outreach, a revitalized, user-friendly Web site and nutrition research opportunities (both continuing and new ventures).
Now more than ever, reliable data is needed on the role of wheat and grain food in the diet. Through this initiative, WFC is proactively identifying and initiating research that is meaningful to the changing needs of the marketplace. This will serve to advance the role of wheat and grain foods in the diet and ultimately improve the health and well-being of Americans.
Moms lead the way in purchasing and, along with their families, consuming your products. Despite a budget of less than $1 million, WFC continues to strive to meet the needs of our members and consumers with current nutrition and food messages delivered from a proven, credible source. With your help we can do much more. Please help us fight for you. For more information on the WFC, call 1-303-840-8787 or visit www.wheatfoods.org.