Potatoes USA Holds School Foodservice Recipe-Testing Roadshow

Published online: Nov 30, 2017 Articles
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On Nov. 7, representatives from Potatoes USA met with the school district of LaCrosse, Wis., to test school foodservice recipes with the K-12 experts themselves. The first-of-its-kind test-and-learn event boasted many key activities including: recipe testing, student and parent focus groups, and marketing materials reviews. The event proved exciting enough that there was local TV coverage.

The Hamilton Early Learning Center tested five of Potatoes USA’s recipes: breakfast totchos to gowarm baked red potato saladmashed potato and chicken “samosa” flatbreadCuban mojo ham and potato salad, and a game day-themed salad bar schematic.

After students and parents enjoyed a sample of each recipe, they were asked to rate it on a “Yum Scale,” ranging from “Love It” to “It’s Okay” to “No Thanks.” The crowd favorite: breakfast totchos to go. In addition, Potatoes USA staffers dove deeper into students’ attitudes about potatoes with an open discussion while parents filled out a survey about their own experience with potatoes.

In its two and a half years of existence, the Potatoes USA School Foodservice Program has produced several high-quality marketing materials, specifically designed for operators. The Potatoes USA team reviewed each piece with the LaCrosse foodservice staff, gaining kudos and valuable feedback for future improvement.

Potatoes USA and school staff were not the only folks to attend the event; local LaCrosse residents had a chance to catch part of the action via six separate broadcast airings from WKBT-CBS and WXOW-ABC. The six airings earned a total of 42,208 broadcast impressions.

This first roadshow stop was one of the most beneficial activities the program has completed to date. The feedback directly from the students, kitchen staff and parents will be invaluable to the team as they shape the program’s future. The team has its second road show scheduled for spring 2018.