Butterball, the world’s largest vertically integrated turkey processor, has committed to developing foodservice products to meet K-12 specifications and hired an industry veteran to lead its new national program.

As consumer interest in buying Butterball turkey ranks high, young scholars can now enjoy a variety of turkey items from a trusted and familiar brand for their school meals and snacks.

Butterball’s K-12 portfolio will include unique turkey options, such as a cooked seasoned thigh roast and roasted sliced tenderloin medallions, as well as traditional favorites. Many of these offerings are formulated to have lower sodium, Child Nutrition labeling and other ingredient attributes suited to K-12. Butterball’s turkeys are raised in America, and the company’s high standards for animal care and well-being have achieved independent verification from the American Humane Association as the first American Humane Certified U.S. turkey brand.

“Butterball has been a well-respected supplier in foodservice for decades, and it’s important for professionals in K-12 institutions to have access to healthy, great-tasting choices for turkey made by a preferred and trusted brand,” Butterball President and Chief Executive Officer Jay Jandrain said. “Families have made us America’s favorite turkey, and now we’re making sure that kids have the opportunity to choose Butterball at school.”

Jennifer Armstrong to lead effort

National Program Director for K-12 Schools Jennifer Armstrong came to Butterball Foodservice with a track record of increasing regional and national sales to K-12 schools, colleges and universities, having worked in the foodservice industry for more than 30 years. An active member of the School Nutrition Association and the American Commodity Distribution Association, she understands the complexities of school nutrition programs and the challenges that the people who run them face on a daily basis in their effort to serve healthy, flavorful meals to the nation’s youth, the company stated.

At Butterball, Armstrong is responsible for overseeing the development and rollout of products and recipes that meet K-12 standards and align with the evolving tastes and preferences of this growingly diverse age group. She’s also collaborating with the company’s dedicated, nationwide broker network to leverage Butterball’s brand strength and vertical integration to ensure the new products address the intricate requirements of the K-12 segment.

“K-12 foodservice directors are passionate about making sure that children are happy and well fed, and supporting that mission is why education has been such a big part of my professional path,” Armstrong said. “I see a lot of growth potential for Butterball’s K-12 program—turkey is currently underused on school breakfast and lunch menus, and we want to help change that by supplying nutritious, high-quality products and innovative recipe ideas that showcase turkey’s versatility.”