Skip to content

Stir in Goodness with Pulses (PCN Spring 2014) MAY 5 2014 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Pulse Crop News.

SYSCO – You probably have seen the name on tractor trailer units travelling across Alberta but you never really noticed or thought about what or who SYSCO is? SYSCO is a leader in the foodservice sector in Canada and in the world and they are also a key part of getting food onto many Albertans’ plates.

Founded in 1969, and traded publically since 1970, SYSCO is the world’s largest food distributor and global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to a variety of clients. Those clients include restaurants, healthcare, educational facilities, lodging and other customers who prepare food away from home. Originally from the US, SYSCO has expanded into many locations across North America and they have two main locations in Alberta at Edmonton and Calgary.

So what do SYSCO and Alberta Pulse have in common? SYSCO representatives have seen The Pulse Potential! The Pulse Potential is the Canadian pulse industry’s institutional and food service recipe resource.

Alberta Pulse was invited to set up a trade show booth and spend the day sharing information with southern Alberta SYSCO clients at the ‘Stir in Goodness Food Expo’ – a SYSCO food show. Over 2000 clients were expected to wander through the trade show and taste, talk and purchase the latest and greatest new food products being introduced to the marketplace.

Companies ranging from Starbucks, to Kraft, Tyson Foods Inc. and Campbell’s were all present. In addition to the national and multinational presence there was also a local flavour with Heritage Frozen Foods Ltd. (perogies), Burnbrae Farms (eggs), Nossack (meat) and Wow Factor Desserts (cheesecake) and Alberta Pulse.

The APG Food and Nutrition booth was busy even without having food samples. Most of the people who stopped in to visit cooked for senior’s lodges, hospital and extended care, smaller mom and pop restaurateurs, camp cooks and even a few fine dining chef’s. APG distributed 25 packages of The Pulse Potential recipe folders and directed people to visit our website for other resources.

Once learning what a ‘pulse’ was the conversation usually turned to soups, summer salads and great chili recipes. There was a lot of interest in gluten-free cooking and chefs are noticing that the trend is growing with their customers. The variety in the Pulse Potential recipe book and the tantalizing photographs of the food helped attract people to the booth and helped start a great conversation. Having the exposure at the SYSCO show provide us an opportunity to really talk to the industry and discuss the healthy benefits of using pulses in food service and also discuss their cost effectiveness as an ingredient.

Overall, the opportunity to dialogue directly with influential purchasers and share information was a benefit. APG will be tracking the uptake and awareness on our website and we hope to see more pulses show up on a variety of menus. So, the next time you see a SYSCO truck travelling the highways, hopefully there will be more pulses on board heading to a food service restaurant closer to you.