A breast cancer awareness campaign in the fall not only helped support breast cancer research, but the promotion helped boost mushrooms sales, the San Jose, Calif.-based Mushroom Council reported.

Breast cancer awareness campaign a success

Courtesy the Mushroom Council

Several grower-shippers and retailers participated in the San Jose, Calif.-based Mushroom Council's effort to promote breast cancer awareness last fall by offering mushrooms packed in pink tills.

During the promotion period, which began Sept. 16, several retailers carried pink mushroom tills provided by a number of participating grower-shippers as part of the mushroom industry’s initiative between the Mushroom Council and the City of Hope, a cancer research and treatment center in Duarte, Calif.

The Mushroom Council provided $50,000 for research on breast cancer and mushrooms conducted at the facility.

The council cited data from FreshLook Marketing indicating that mushroom sales were up 6.7% in dollars and 12.3% in pounds during October — the highest mushroom movement reported in any time period.

Several grower-shippers said they participated in that campaign with positive results.

“The day we started putting pink tills on the shelf, we started getting comments from consumers,” said Joe Caldwell, vice president at Monterey Mushrooms Inc., Watsonville, Calif. “It was immediately recognizable.”

The campaign was “a way to connect our industry and our product with breast cancer prevention,” he said.

Phillips Mushroom Farms, Kennett Square, Pa., got involved in the promotion with a major retail partner who promoted the campaign on its private label brand, said Kevin Donovan, national sales manager.

“They were very pleased that we offered that to them,” he said. “They thought that their customers appreciated their involvement.”

To-Jo Mushrooms, Avondale, Pa., hopes to participate in a similar campaign this year.

“We were very pleased with the promotion,” said Paul Frederic, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “It generated a lot of interest and excitement.”