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Chef recipes with ‘genuine’ Idaho spuds drive IPC foodservice ads

For many years, the Idaho Potato Commission has been energetically promoting its registered brand, Famous Idaho Potatoes, and the fame of Idaho potatoes is a testament to the success of that campaign.

The commission has also been promoting the trademarked Grown in Idaho seal, which states “Certified 100% Idaho Potatoes,” highlighting the slogan, “You know it’s real when you see the seal.”

Those are all ways of identifying genuine Idaho potatoes.

Don Odiorne, who has served the industry as the commission’s vice president of foodservice for the past 30 years and who will be retiring the end of this year, told The Produce News that he has long favored the use of the word “genuine” in addition to the other terminology because “it plays up the brand awareness that we have built over so many years.”

02-IPC-Foodservice-Genuine- In the IPC’s new foodservice print ad campaign for the 2018-19 shipping season, each ad features a recipe from a prominent chef, and each sports the tag lines, “Genuine Idaho” and “The world’s Finest Potatoes.” Both phrases are trademarked, and the process off getting the trademarks registered is under way.

“Famous Idaho Potatoes” is a great brand, but Odiorne’s objective in the new foodservice ad campaign is to motivate chefs, who are the intended audience for the ads, “to call out Idaho” when ordering potatoes. “What we are attempting to do,” he said, is “to get people to ask for us by name when they are talking to distributors” so they can be sure of getting the genuine article and not just a generic potato that might be similar in appearance.

There are six ads in the new campaign that will appear in leading foodservice magazines. “One of the chefs that shared a recipe that I am really excited about” is Brian Malarkey of Herb & Wood in San Diego, Odiorne said. Malarkey’s restaurant was named the best in San Diego by San Diego Magazine. Malarkey told Odiorne that he loves potatoes and the recipe he created for the ad is Crispy Idaho Potato Cake.

Other chefs who have submitted recipes for the ad series are Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani in Decatur, GA; Nick Korbee of the Egg Shop in New York City; David Culi of Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse in Ohio and elsewhere; Peter Pascale, executive chef of RWJ University Hospital Somerset in Somerville NJ; and Sarah Falls, campus executive chef at Liberty University in Lynchburg VA.

The exquisite food photography used in the ads is by David Malosh in Brooklyn, NY. The concept, Odiorne said, is to “show that Idaho potatoes are not only an important ingredient but an inspiration in a menu item.” The object is to inspire other chefs to either try the recipe or to ad something similar to their own menus.

The IPC will also be putting out another chef’s calendar this year, again with recipes from trend-setting chefs. “We already have all 12 recipes, which are laser focused on Idaho potatoes being the hero or the star,” said Odiorne.

The calendar will be introduced in the November-December issue of Plate magazine.