Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

“Potatoes Raise the Bar” Launches at SNA

The United States Potato Board (USPB) officially launched its “Potatoes Raise the Bar” school nutrition program at the School Nutrition Association Annual Nutrition Conference in Salt Lake City, UT, July 12-15. This conference attracted 2,300 school nutrition and foodservice professional from across the country, including some of the most influential voices and key decision makers for school district menus.

More than 250 school foodservice directors and managers, media, allied industry and nutrition consultants were attracted to the USPB booth because of two main drivers.  The centerpiece of the booth was a Farmers’ Market salad bar.  Each day it was merchandised with a different theme, and a different potato dish was sampled (Smokey Chipotle Potato Salad, Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Potato Salad and French Dijon Potato Salad).  Additionally, school-meal-celebrity, Garret Berdan, Chef and RDN, and member of the potato team, lent his voice and expertise to discuss how potatoes have the power to boost school lunch participation and the consumption of other vegetables. From the moment the doors opened to the trade show, traffic was heavy, and there were constant quality conversations about innovation with potatoes.  Reaction was overwhelmingly positive, as people snapped pictures of the salad bar concepts, requested more recipes and industry information, and asked to be on the USPB email list.

Each evening, the USPB team hosted a dinner with school nutrition directors, consultants, as well as a few recognized innovators in the school lunch arena.  These intimate gatherings were the perfect setting to establish relationships and to get their thoughts on the newly developed school nutrition program.

“Potatoes Raise the Bar” is designed to help potatoes gain recognition in schools as a nutrient-dense vegetable and a magnet that could draw kids to increase their consumption of other vegetables.  This program supports the industry’s Salad Bar Challenge by delivering school nutrition professionals a library of innovative recipes and menu inspiration as well as merchandising tools and support.

For more information, please contact Meredith Myers at [email protected] or 303-873-2333.

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