Combating low-carb craze
January 11, 2005
ADBB combats low-carb diet impact on beans
The following year-end report was presented by Manning Selvage and Lee, the public relations agency that works with the American Dry Bean Board on its programs. The Northarvest Bean Growers Association is a member of ADBB, along with other grower and shipper organizations, and helps direct its activities.
In 2004, the American Dry Bean Boards public relations program focused on combating media and consumer confusion over good carbs vs. bad carbs, and educating the public about the health benefits of beans prior to the release of the U.S. governments new dietary guidance message.
During the past year, beans received a negative health reputation with the advent and popularity of low-carb diets. But beans are full of protein, fiber and a host of nutrients and minerals. In addition, beans are full of good complex carbohydrates that are low on the glycemic index (GI) scale and help promote a feeling of fullness to prevent overeating. A number of studies have shown that increased bean consumption can lead to weight loss, in addition to better nutrition and a lower incidence of common diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
The ADBBs Bean Education Awareness Network (B.E.A.N.) capitalized on the media climate to refute low carb diets as the first program of our 2004-2005 media relations efforts. Media materials were sent to health and food editors and included a news release, a resource guide, low-carbohydrate recipes, recipe photography and story angle ideas. (See related story page 26). Follow-up on this issue continues.
Baked Bean Month
Though beans are eaten everywhere year round, there is one time of the year when beans are a prominent fixture on picnic tables across the country July.
To focus attention on dry beans, ADBB promoted Baked Bean Month. The group worked with food editors to feature interesting variations on the classic American summer food. Outreach included a media alert and fast references to different types of baked bean recipes. Media materials were distributed in late June.
ADBBs Web site, www.americanbean.org, continued to improve in 2004 through monthly and quarterly changes to the homepage, such as Recipe of the Month and a seasonal recipe section,. The ADBB also stays busy fulfilling requests that come from media via the site.
This year, we also added a Resource Room that includes B.E.A.N. resource materials for nutritionists and consumers to use at their own functions, as well as a new links page, designed to build the community of dry bean-supporting Web sites.
Ongoing Media Relations
Ongoing contact with the media includes responding to editor requests for bean information, recipes and photography; seeking out additional media opportunities for beans; and monitoring media and constantly updating our database of media contacts
ADBB also tracks coverage resulting from B.E.A.N.s media relations efforts, tabulates media impressions and compiles articles in a clip book that is given to the board of directors each year.
More than 500 articles were written about beans in 2004.