Albert Lea, Minn.-based Mrs. Gerry’s Kitchen puts a strong focus on supporting its retail partners.

Mrs. Gerry’s began manufacturing salads in 1973 and has significantly grown its distribution and product offerings throughout its 50 years in business. Customer service is a top priority for the company, along with quality control and consistency.

Mrs. Gerry's Kitchen facility Source: Mrs. Gerry's Kitchen

The company’s customer support phone line helps retailers by providing serving suggestions, nutritional data, merchandising and answers to customer inquiries.

“We work together with our retail partners by setting up in-store ads, setting aside marketing dollars to help drive rings at the register,” said Chad Vogt, president of Mrs. Gerry’s.

Many of Mrs. Gerry’s top selling products include varieties of mashed potatoes and potato salads. For quality control, the company contracts with one potato grower for the majority of the year and only allows potatoes that have already been washed and approved by the company’s standards into its facility.

“Cooked, diced potatoes are cooled by a vacuum,” Vogt said. “Cooked potatoes are brought down to 40°F or less by air, not water, before mixing. This allows the potato to absorb the dressing, resulting in a more cohesive potato salad flavor, and maintains cube integrity.”

Mrs. Gerry’s Kitchen Steakhouse Potato salad in a black bowl on a wooden surfaceSource: Mrs. Gerry’s Kitchen

All dressings used in the salads are made in-house by Mrs. Gerry’s.

As with its potatoes, the company is equally selective with the cabbage it uses in its coleslaw and said that whole loads may be rejected if standards are not met. Each cabbage is de-cored, hand inspected, and purified in a Tsunami bath prior to use.

“We provide a product any deli, restaurant or supermarket would be proud to serve,” Vogt said. “A product they would be eager to associate with their establishment.”

This article is an excerpt from Supermarket Perimeter's July 2023 issue. You can read the entire Barbecue feature and more in the digital edition here.