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Quarterly Mash-Up: Issue 2: Stand-out Sides: Did You Know

Did You Know?


America’s favorite vegetable, potatoes are a side dish staple that consumers expect on the menu.1

In fact, 74 percent of consumers enjoy a potato side dish at least once per month, which is more than pasta, rice, sweet potatoes or quinoa.2

When dining away from home, consumers prefer potato sides to salad, rice or mac and cheese.2  Operators continue to menu classic and innovative potato sides because consumers demand them.3

  1. Potatoes USA. “2018 Consumer A&U Quantitative Report.” January 2018, slide 24.
  2. Technomic Inc. “Potatoes Patron Study.” January 2017, slide 22 and 43.
  3. Technomic Inc. “Potatoes USA Operator Attitudes & Usage Comparative Analysis.” January 2018, slide 11.


Fast Casual Side Dishes


Whether it’s mashed potatoes with a flavorful mix-ins of herbs, spices or greens or roasted potatoes with a hit of spicy Peri Peri sauce or chilies, today’s hottest fast casual chains recognize the value and popularity of potatoes.  From Indian to Mediterranean and Latin, potatoes pair perfectly with any seasoning.  Dig Inn in NYC tops potatoes with a spicy Peruvian kick, while Curry Up Now fills it’s Pani Puri with a potato, chickpea mash and Souvla in San Francisco bastes its Juicy Potatoes in rotisserie drippings for a savory explosion.



Left image: Peruvian Potatoes, Digg Inn; Right image: Pani Purri, Curry Up Now


Sides Take Center Stage as Fine Dining meets Fast Casual


The hottest concepts in foodservice are forging a new path by creating menu items using fresh ingredients and simple preparation methods while achieving complex flavor profiles and elegant presentation.  Trendsetters including Cava, Tender Greens and Curry Up Now are keeping customers lining up because of their craveable array of innovative sides, always including at least one fresh potato application.

Campfire Fingerling Potatoes, Potatoes USA


Fresh Potatoes. Fresh Sides Stealing the Show.


A rise in snacking, shareable plates and plant-based eating has created a perfect recipe for operators to elevate their side dish game.  Particularly in the fast casual segment, operators are winning consumers over with innovative, fresh sides that give potatoes, grains and seasonal produce the same TLC once only devoted to proteins.

The versatile, ever-popular potato provides the perfect base for both classic and modern side dishes.  Fast casual operators are putting new spins on traditional baked, mashed and fried potatoes to reinvent the concepts entirely.  At the same time, potatoes are providing inspiration for globally-influenced, on-trend sides that satisfy consumers’ taste for heat and spice.

Deviled Potato, Potatoes USA

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