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CPAC marketing plan encompasses both the foodservice and the retail sectors

by Kathleen Thomas Gaspar | February 01, 2010
MONTE VISTA, CO -- With the ultimate goal to deliver a comprehensive potato message of nutrition, taste and convenience, the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee is tailoring its marketing plan to include foodservice and retail buyers as well as the end consumer.

Leading into the new year and various shows and expositions, a major project being undertaken by the committee is the development of point-of-purchase collateral material, which is being designed for specific audiences.

According to CPAC Administrator Linda Weyers, the multi-faceted campaign for 2010 will take in the America Culinary Federation's Western Regional Conference in Albuquerque, NM, where 400 chefs will be in attendance. The series of workshops and a trade show will spotlight food trends, preparation, health and nutrition and other topics, and the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee will have a major presence as a brunch co-sponsor.

The Albuquerque event runs Feb. 6-8 and will be followed in April by a Southeast Regional ACF Conference in Birmingham, AL. Ms. Weyers said that the Southeast conference will adhere to a similar format, and CPAC will again be in attendance.

A new foodservice brochure will be distributed at both shows, and a retail- specific piece will go out to buyers this springs. Additionally, p-o-p materials will be available for produce displays, according to Ms. Weyers.

And following up on the 2009 development of a new CPAC cookbook, with recipes collected largely through a contest it sponsored on-line, the committee is now selling the published four-color book through its web site, Recipes run the full menu spectrum, from appetizers and soups to main dishes, sides and desserts.

Locally, the committee will be among the 400 exhibitors at the 2010 WestEx Rocky Mountain Foodservice & Restaurant Exposition in May. The Denver show, held at the Merchandise Mart and sponsored by the Colorado Restaurant Association and Sysco, boasts 200,000 square feet of exhibit space and draws more than 5,000 attendees annually.

The committee's 10x10-foot booth will be among the Colorado Proud exhibitors, according to Ms. Weyers.

In June, the committee will host its annual dinner to coincide with the National Potato Council meeting that will take place in the San Luis Valley. The NPC meeting will be presided over by new council President Roger Mix, a San Luis Valley potato grower.

And in September the committee will again be part of the Fall Harvest Festival in Monte Vista.

Past festivals have included cooking demonstrations and contests featuring chefs from the Colorado chapter of the American Culinary Federation as well as a taste tour of the downtown area, field tours, warehouse tours and games.

(For more on San Luis Valley potatoes, see the Feb. 1, 2010, issue of The Produce News.)