( Courtesy Idaho Potato Commission )

Restaurants, institutions and other foodservice outlets continue to provide strong support for the Idaho potato industry, suppliers say.

“We support our foodservice customers with regular promotional opportunities, as well,” said Corey Griswold, COO with Hailey, Idaho-based grower-shipper ProSource Inc.

Foodservice has been the backbone of business at Idaho Falls, Idaho-based grower-shipper Eagle Eye Produce for more than a decade, said Dallin Klingler, marketing and communications representative.

“We’re finding success in being a ‘one-stop-shop’ supplier,” Klingler said. 

“We are able to supply several varieties of potatoes, organic and conventional, as well as our four other major commodities — onions, melons, dry veg out of Nogales, Ariz., and table grapes. The convenience of partnering with a diversified supplier is very attractive for our foodservice partners.”  

The beauty behind foodservice is the channel’s ability to utilize a supplier’s entire product portfolio, said Eric Beck, marketing director with Idaho Falls-based grower-shipper Wada Farms Marketing Group.

“We see our foodservice customers benefiting from our ability to provide a one-stop shop for all of their potato, onion and sweet potato needs,” he said.

Foodservice programs at the Eagle-based Idaho Potato Commission are focused on helping distributors promote and increase their sales by partnering with them on sales promotions, said Alan Kahn, the commission’s vice president-foodservice.

“These promotions may be held in conjunction with other products, in order to maximize the value for both the distributor and operators,” Kahn said. 

Additionally, the commission works with foodservice operators and offers menu and merchandising programs for operators who feature Idaho potatoes, as well as place the Idaho Potato brand on merchandising materials, Kahn said.

“Additionally, we partner with multi-unit chains to conduct menu item ideation sessions, which help them generate new and innovative new items,” he said.