Wheat Foods Council continues influencer work online

Posted August 27, 2020

Wheat producers in Kansas and across the country came together in 1972 to create the Wheat Foods Council (WFC) as a national non-profit organization to promote the category of wheat-based foods. WFC is a one-stop source for everything about wheat and wheat foods nutrition. The WFC includes grain producers, millers and bakers, baking suppliers and life science companies.

Due to COVID-19 and the unforeseen circumstances we all faced, WFC activities looked a little different this year. During the year, they usually hold a summer meeting to give members an update on activities and make plans for the upcoming year. That took a slight change this year, as they hosted the meeting virtually. Cindy Falk, nutrition educator for Kansas Wheat, serves on the program committee.

She said that while work with personal trainers continues to be a big focus, promoting enriched wheat foods is also a priority. The WFC is working with well-known influencers such as bloggers and chefs to develop recipes, which are always popular on the website, wheatfoods.org.

Along with meetings being held online, they are also transitioning their content to be online as well. By doing this, they have seen a great change in activity and success. By creating short, 1-minute videos with experts and infographic style communications, they were able to get their point across in a very productive and fun way. Once they had created these videos, they then put them out on social media and were able to have tremendous pickup in return.

“We are excited to share the news that our videos targeting Personal Trainers surpassed one million views last week,” said Tim O’Connor, President of Wheat Foods Council. “As many of you know, we pivoted to producing short educational videos in April as COVID-19 shut down the Personal Trainer events where our experts would have made presentations and we would have exhibited. We felt delivering these videos on social media was the best alternative to continue our educational outreach while in-person activities were unavailable. Our videos are reaching our target audience in an entertaining and informative way that is highly successful.”

Personal trainers have a reach that works as a direct impact on the clients. The clients then share what they have been doing with their personal trainer to their network, whether it be friends or family. When they started this collaboration in 2015, most personal trainers did not realize the nutritional value of carbohydrates, but over the years WFC has noticed a huge turn around on that.

“We picked personal trainers as our influencer target because they were giving bad information that was reaching a lot of people, and we thought it was the right step to turn it around,” said O’Connor.

In addition to their work with personal trainers, WFC also works with chefs that set the menus for restaurant chains and major international companies. One reason WFC chose to work with these influencers is because of their reach and followers, allowing them to impact many people. They partnered with a culinary institute to educate the chefs and inspire new items on their menus.

As this fiscal year just got started, WFC is not slowing down with new ideas in hopes to educate people about the nutritional benefits of wheat foods. They plan on having a larger video category to help replace other activities they had planned but were not able to complete.

You can find WFC videos on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, WFC’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/WheatFoodsCouncil/videos, their website https://www.wheatfoods.org or our Center for Nutrition and Athletics website http://www.centerfornutritionandathletics.org/resources/.

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Written by Kirstin Vohs, Kansas Wheat Communications Intern