The U.S. foodservice industry accounts for 48% of consumer food dollars ($588 billion in sales*) and over 50% of potato sales volume. It’s no wonder--year after year, potatoes remain the #1 side dish in foodservice. Baked, mashed roasted of fried, potatoes have a remarkable ability to sell whatever is served them with, enhancing presentations and adding value and appetite appeal.
The USPB Foodservice Marketing program has three main objectives:
- Build awareness of the “Potatoes…Goodness Unearthed®” nutrition campaign in the foodservice market.
- Increase and protect potatoes’ share of the menu; drive healthy menu innovation.
- Actively engage with influential chefs to accelerate healthy menu innovation.
All three of the objectives are accomplished as USPB reaches chefs with messages that motivate new thinking, beyond the familiar. Chefs and foodservice influentials are discovering potatoes makes a fresh, delicious, healthy “canvas” for contemporary appetizers, sides, salads and center-of-the-plate dishes.
*2010 forecast, Technomic Inc.
Menu Innovations with Potatoes Seminar
The cornerstone of the program is USPB’s “Innovation with Potatoes Seminar” at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, CA . Annually, this two-day, accredited seminar brings together elite classes of America’s top chefs to create a new generation of healthy potato side dishes, salads and entrées. The highlight of the seminar is when the chefs bring out their personal flair to create new and innovative potato dishes.
Since the beginning of the program, 62 chefs from 51 chains representing over $150 billion in sales and 113,805 units have attended the seminar, along with six retail deli chefs and four food manufacturers. Best of all, 54% of the chefs who have attended the seminar added or tested new potato items.
Foodservice Advertising and Publicity
Online advertising through e-newsletter features on foodservice sites drive traffic to the USPB’s microsite at PotatoGoodness.com and the CIA’s on-line potato seminar at ProChef.com . Both sites give chefs and culinary students access to recipes, cooking demo videos, potato nutrition information and tools for their business.
Publicity extends reach of program by delivering key messages across the industry’s top trade media outlets. Additionally, videos produced at each Menu Innovations with Potatoes Seminar are used to extend the seminar to those not in attendance and to increase interest by featuring celebrity chefs preparing innovative potato dishes.
School foodservice professionals are in pursuit of a healthier student body. The USPB offers a searchable database of school friendly recipes at PotatoGoodness.com as well as a collection of resources to use in the cafeteria. Additionally, a listing of many potato products that meet current nutrition guidelines was developed in partnership with potato processors, helping foodservice professionals understand how Potatoes Make the Grade.