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The Idaho Potato Commission recently invited food bloggers from around the world to see firsthand how America’s favorite vegetable is harvested, stored, processed, packed and shipped.

Eighteen food enthusiasts spent three days in eastern Idaho learning what makes potatoes grown in Idaho different from potatoes grown in other states and countries.

Food bloggers have fast become a go-to resource for home cooks looking for new and different dishes to serve their families. In turn they are a valuable voice for the IPC, communicating brand attributes and providing many unique and delicious ways to enjoy Idaho potatoes.

“In the past five years we’ve partnered with more than 100 food bloggers on a variety of projects ranging from hosting recipe contests and Twitter parties to providing new recipes, videos and photography for the IPC’s website,” Frank Muir, president and chief executive officer of the Idaho Potato Commission, said in a press release. “We want these influencers to share their experience in Idaho with their hundreds of thousands of followers to help them better understand the importance of looking for the ‘Grown in Idaho’ seal when purchasing potatoes.”

While in Idaho the bloggers:

  • Visited the Hoff Family Farm, where they were treated to a home-cooked meal after digging spuds in the field.
  • Spent time at the Wada Farms packing facility, where they witnessed tons of Idaho potatoes being washed, sorted, inspected and packed.
  • Toured two processing plants — Lamb Weston and Idahoan Foods.
  • Stopped by the Idaho Potato Museum to learn the history of the famous spud.

Despite their busy schedule in Idaho, the bloggers kept their social media followers up to date on everything they experienced. With a combined total of 49 Facebook posts, 96 Instagram posts and more than 60 Tweets (and still counting) the bloggers kept their digital universes abuzz.

Upon returning home, the foodies posted extensive stories, photos and even new Idaho potato recipes to their respective blogs.

The bloggers who participated in the tour were Cheryl Bennett of Pook’s Pantry, Citlalli Huerta of Mujeres al asador, Coryanne Etienne of Kitchen Living with Coryanne, Danielle Omar of Food Confidence, E.A. Stewart of Spicy RD Nutrition, Hussein Cardenas of Mujeres al asador, Johanna Cook of Momma Cuisine, Jonathan Pollack of Cupcake Project, Jonathan Melendez of The Candid Appetite, Jorge Chanis of El Buen Diente, Kita Roberts of Pass the Sushi, Lisa Goldfinger of Panning The Globe, Mara Corado of Nuchef, Miguel Barboza of Sabores, Monica Kass Rogers of Lost Recipes Found, Rafael Cotto of Foodies PR, Stefani Pollack of Cupcake Project and Susan Pridmore of The Wimpy Vegetarian.

Upholding its commitment to quality, service and innovation, Tanimura & Antle, based in Salinas, CA, has launched a new seasonal label and online consumer campaign for its Artisan Lettuce. From Nov. 7 to Dec. 27, the company’s eye-catching Eat Healthy, Be Merry label will drive consumers to a consumer-focused website, On the website and social media, Artisan Lettuce fans can engage with recipe inspiration, preparation tips and enter for the chance to win one of four $500 gift cards.TA EatHealthyBeMerry Label

The contrasting petite Red and Green Gem, Oak and Tango lettuces paired with the seasonal label provides retailers with a high shelf impact and entices shoppers to add Tanimura & Antle Artisan Lettuce to their shopping carts. The new packaging reflects messaging deemed as most important to consumers in a recently completed 2016 independent consumer study — type of lettuce, flavor profiles, and special offers and promotions.

Tanimura & Antle promotions have demonstrated their success with previous seasonal labels multiplying retail sales while simultaneously decreasing shrink for retailers.

“Research and experience with seasonal labeling shows that consumers are drawn to on-pack messaging,” said Rick Antle, chief executive officer of Tanimura & Antle. “We’re excited to support our retail partners with this program and connect with consumers while continuing to grow our brand equity around our Artisan Lettuce.”

Packed in a signature protective clamshell, Tanimura & Antle Artisan Lettuce offers consumers a better value, higher yield and longer shelf life than bagged salad blends. The petite lettuce pack provides the texture, variety and flavors that shoppers demand while allowing for more creative flexibility in kitchens.

Purple Carrot, a whole food, plant-based meal kit delivery service, announced a new partnership with Whole Foods Market’s North Atlantic region. Beginning Oct. 26, Purple Carrot meal kits will be carried at the North Atlantic’s flagship location in Dedham, MA. Each kit will include hand-selected, portioned-out ingredients just like Purple Carrot subscribers receive at home on a weekly basis. This marks the first meal kit delivery collaboration for the North Atlantic region of Whole Foods Market, and the first in-store point of sale for Purple Carrot.Pan-Seared-Tofu-and-Black-Rice-NoodlesPan-seared tofu and black rice noodles.

"We created a delivery service that provides all of the raw, pre-measured ingredients people need to cook delicious and healthy plant-based meals across the country. Over the last year, we’ve listened to the feedback of our busy consumers who also wanted to find our products on grocery shelves. With that in mind, we have created a new product so people can pick up their meal kits when they shop at Whole Foods Market,” Andy Levitt, founder and chief executive officer of Purple Carrot, said in a press release. “We are thrilled to team up with Whole Foods Market’s North Atlantic region to enrich the grocery shopping experience and make it easier for people to cook delicious plant-based meals at home.”

Whole Foods Market customers will enjoy the convenience of grab-and-go meal kits curated by Purple Carrot and will introduce shoppers to a rotation of three flavorful, high-protein meals. Initial meal choices will be Mongolian Seitan Stir Fry, Pan Seared Tofu and Black Rice Noodles, and Cashew Korma with Cauliflower Rice. Each meal kit will be available for $19.99.

”We recognize that now, more than ever, our customers are in need of convenience without the sacrifice of quality and nutrition,” Kimberley Rose, vice president of purchasing for Whole Foods Market’s North Atlantic region, said in the release. “Purple Carrot has created a great product that will help us to provide our customers with one more way to continue to eat well even on the busiest of days.”

Associated Wholesale Grocers announced its successful unification with Affiliated Foods Midwest. With its first shipments to stores out of its newest divisions in Norfolk, NE, and Kenosha, WI, on Oct. 23, the combined cooperative will operate singularly as AWG with more than 1,000 independent members. This combination of retailers makes AWG the largest wholesale grocery cooperative in the United States supplying groceries in 35 states. Coupled with the expanded retailer member base and geographic footprint, the combination enables AWG to expand its offerings to its retail members with the addition of a retail accounting subsidiary and a digital marketing subsidiary.

“From the moment Barry Queen (AWG’s chairman of the board) and I started our discussions with AFM’s President and CEO Martin Arter and his Chairman John Clarke, we knew our companies were a great fit,” David Smith, AWG’s president and chief executive officer, said in a press release.

This new region of AWG will be led by Arter, new senior executive and former president and CEO of AFM. According to Smith, “Marty is an extraordinary individual and he is the perfect leader for this new endeavor.”

This combination allows AWG to better serve retailers in northern states such as North Dakota and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

“The expansion of our collective distribution areas into several new adjoining states where there remains a large number of independent grocers but few wholesale options is already paying dividends as retailers in those states are already making inquiries and asking how soon we can onboard new customers," Smith said in the release. "With the current enthusiasm we are witnessing, our new Great Lakes division in Kenosha may top $1 billion in annual sales sooner than we initially anticipated.”

The combination also allows AWG to expand its footprint west to service independent grocers in Wyoming and Colorado.

USA Pears has partnered with Cricket Flours to create innovative and cutting-edge Halloween-themed promotions, recipes and social media tie-ins.

“Alternative, healthy and sustainable protein sources are generating considerable consumer interest,” Kevin Moffitt, president and chief executive officer of Pear Bureau Northwest, said in a press release.guanosThe Pear Chips with Gusanos de Maguey recipe features maguey worms. “With so much access to new food information, consumers are changing the way they eat and trying new foods. We thought it was a great time to pair a pear with these sustainable proteins and shake up the fruit category.”

The campaign will include a blog post from Cricket Flour Founder and CEO Charles Wilson discussing the trend and what he sees as the benefit to alternative proteins posted on, three new recipes combining pears and alternative protein flours, social media posts leading up to Halloween sharing the blog, recipes and some spooky, unexpected alternative proteins.

“What better time to talk about something so new that some consumers may be a little wary than October?” Moffitt said in the release. “In addition to being interesting, it’s fun to share new ideas. You think Cricket Flours are unusual, just check out the alternative protein recipes we developed with our Mexico team.”