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Driscoll and UMass team up to delight students

Students at the University of Massachussetts-Amherst campus could find Driscoll’s berries at their dining venues.

Students at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst campus enjoyed a berry-flavored surprise upon their return for the fall semester.

The university’s dining services and Driscoll’s teamed up for the weeklong Here Come the Strawberries promotion, which ran Sept. 12-16 campus-wide in all four dining facilities, seven cafes and three retail store venues.

The UMass dining staff, under the direction of Ken Toong, executive director of auxiliary enterprises, created tempting dishes centered on Driscoll’s strawberries, with some also featuring Driscoll’s raspberries.

Over 20,000 students, faculty and staff enjoyed healthful dishes such as strawberry parfaits, strawberry smoothies, spinach salad with strawberries and raspberries, pork medallions with strawberry-herb sauce and a popular fondue station.

With Driscoll’s support, the university promoted the specialty menu in the dining halls on posters, on its web site and on the school radio station.

“Our goal was to offer as many fresh, healthy options as possible to our customers, and they really did appreciate this one,” Martha Monaghan, special events manager for the university, said in a press release. “The support from Driscoll’s made a huge difference.”

Randy Benko, foodservice sales manager for Driscoll’s, added in the press release, “The UMass and Driscoll’s partnership was really a team effort between our sales team, distributor partners and the UMass culinary team. We were excited to see the bump in berry usage at UMass, while at the same time our brand gained visibility among college students, one of our strongest foodservice segments.”

UMass has one of the larger college dining programs in the country with more than $70 million in annual revenues.