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Idaho Potato Commission hires industry veteran to lead foodservice division

The Idaho Potato Commission has hired Alan Kahn as the new vice president of foodservice. Kahn will rely on his extensive foodservice and marketing experience to develop and implement attention-grabbing campaigns that encourage greater Idaho potato consumption at the foodservice level. With more than 25 years of experience in foodservice, food marketing, and new business development in the potato industry specifically, Kahn understands the strength of the “Grown in Idaho” seal and the prestige it carries among chefs and foodservice operators in the United States and around the world.khan

“Alan’s impressive experience in the food industry, years spent working at three of Idaho’s biggest frozen French fry manufacturers, and deep knowledge of Idaho make him the ideal person to run the foodservice division at the Idaho Potato Commission,” said Frank Muir, president and chief executive officer. “As more and more consumers are seeking healthy out-of-home dining options, getting Idaho potatoes — fresh, frozen and dehydrated — on the menu is becoming increasingly more important. I’m confident that Alan’s knowledge and expertise can help us lift foodservice to the next level.”

During his tenures at Ore-Ida Foods, McCain Foods USA, and the J.R. Simplot Co., Kahn was primarily involved in sales, marketing, and new product development for both retail and foodservice products. As a member of the executive team at the J.R. Simplot Co., Kahn’s responsibilities included business acquisitions, corporate alliances, joint ventures, and innovative foodservice products. While at McCain and Ore-Ida, Kahn was directly responsible for the potato foodservice brands, including new product introductions, product management, sales, and marketing.

Kahn deepened his foodservice and marketing expertise at Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. where he was the director of sales for the western region of the country, calling primarily on foodservice operator chain segments. Prior to that he was the vice president of marketing for Clear Springs Foods.

Most recently, Kahn served as the bureau chief of communications and marketing for the Idaho Department of Fish & Game where he was responsible for all internal and external communication efforts, including hunter and aquatic education, the agency website, all digital production, marketing, and the MK Nature Center. He also developed a framework for integrating all components of customer support and sales data, advertising, public relations, market outreach, and media planning.

As vice president of foodservice at the IPC, Kahn will supervise three promotions directors who are in the field every day of the week calling on foodservice distributors, produce houses, and terminal markets. Kahn will also develop foodservice promotions, launch incentive contests for operators, create training programs, videos and educational materials, and coordinate the IPC’s presence at some of the biggest food/restaurant shows in the country. Another very important part of the position is working with restaurant chain operators on new menu ideas.

In his free time he enjoys fly fishing, snow skiing, playing the drums, working on his 1968 Camaro, reading and fitness training.