Industry News | May 19, 2011

Sweet Potato Puffs the Next Big Thing?

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ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston Sweet Things Sweet Potato Mini Tater Puffs will be showcased as one of the best new foodservice product innovations at the upcoming National Restaurant Association (NRA) trade show held May 21-24 in Chicago.

The Sweet Potato Mini Tater Puffs will receive one of 13 inaugural NRA Food and Beverage Product Innovation Awards honoring progressive food and beverage products expected to make a significant impact on the industry.

Sweet Things Sweet Potato Mini Tater Puffs are one example of how Lamb Weston continues to develop new and exciting products with tremendous consumer and operator appeal. “Consumers are increasingly interested in sweet potatoes, and that is driving their emergence as a key menu item across foodservice segments,” says Helene Clark, marketing director at Lamb Weston. “Our research shows that consumers are more likely to visit a restaurant that menus sweet potato fries, and they are willing to pay more for sweet potato items.”

The Sweet Potato Mini Tater Puffs can be baked or fried and offered as a second-fry choice or better-for-you side option on menus in restaurants, colleges, schools, and hospitals. Non-commercial customers particularly appreciate the option to prepare them in conventional or convection ovens.

“The Research Quality and Innovation team at Lamb Weston worked diligently to create a new sweet potato item for the Sweet Things product line based on consumer preferences for a superb combination of flavor, shape, texture, and size,” says Chris Rhynalds, vice president, Research, Quality & Innovation, Lamb Weston. “It is a great acknowledgement of our innovation process to receive this award from the NRA. In addition, the Sweet Potato Mini Tater Puffs gained high acceptance among our customers on first exposure, which is an indicator of their future success with restaurant customers.”

NRA Food and Beverage Product Innovation Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges from commercial and noncommercial industry segments and based on significant advancements in ingredients, preparation, processing, and packaging. Entries included products introduced from Jan. 1,  2010 - May 21, 2011.

Lamb Weston, a brand of ConAgra Foods, is North America's premier supplier of frozen potato, sweet potato, appetizer, and other vegetable products, serving both the foodservice and retail industries. For more information, please visit www.lambweston.com.

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