Fry Industry Puts Heads Together

Published online: Jul 17, 2003
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Presidents of three major french fry processors put competitive differences aside earlier this month to come up with a plan to help the declining fry sales.

Frank van Schaayk, McCain Foods USA Inc, Jeffrey DeLapp, Con Agra Foods Specialty Potato Products (Lamb-Weston), and James R. Munyon, J.R. Simplot Company met with United States Potato Board staff and Chairman Jim Tiede.

All participants voiced strong support of the augmented USPB Long-Range Plan, which places heightened emphasis on nutrition programs.

It was explained that this strategy includes defining credible and effective consumer messages regarding the nutritional benefits of potatoes.

After that message is developed, USPB will create a consumer communication program, and the processors will work to integrate it for their own products. In addition, nutrition policy will be monitored in Washington, DC, by an independent consultant with National Potato Council involvement.

Tiede, American Falls, ID, grower and chairman of the Board, said the Board has already lined up focus groups to test messages.

"By December we will have an effective message to deliver to consumers-a nutrition message the industry can adopt. The industry-growers, shippers, processors, and state and national organizations-have got to work together to give this nutrition strategy life."