‘Mushroom Mania’ Wins Excellence in Marketing Award for Dining Services

Mushroom serving suggestions

Dining Services has received the 2015 Marketing Excellence Award given by Produce Business magazine. The award recognizes the university’s dining program for promoting healthy eating and developing a creative marketing campaign around the “Mushroom Mania” event held in February.

Hosted in partnership with The Mushroom Council and celebrity chef Jehangir Mehta of acclaimed New York City restaurants Graffiti and Metaphor, UMass Dining conducted a cross-platform marketing campaign to promote the event. Outreach extended beyond the four walls of the dining commons and into the digital realm, reaching students on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as through local news coverage.

During the event, dining services featured the student favorite “Blended Burger,” which utilizes the golden ratio of blended mushrooms and ground beef. Ken Toong, executive director of auxiliary enterprises, says, “Not only did we create a variety of mushroom recipes planned and prepared by chef Jehangir Mehta, but we offered educational sessions to show students the benefits of consuming more mushrooms and eating less red meat.”

Kenneth L. Whitacre, executive vice president of Produce Business, said, “This year’s competition was outstanding, and it would be an understatement to say that the bar on marketing excellence has been raised.”

Dining Services most recently won the Produce BusinessMarketing Excellence Award for Mango Mania in 2013.

Other awards received by UMass Amherst Dining Services this year include the Best Renovation award from Food-Management.com for the Blue Wall in the Lincoln Campus Center. The award cites outstanding efforts in sustainable, delicious, healthy cuisine.

“We are honored to receive these prestigious national awards,” Toong said.