Research Reveals that as Consumers Emerge from the Pandemic, They Are Considering Up-Leveling Their Holiday Menus and Making Beautiful Desserts, Resulting in First-Ever Partnership to Help Supercharge Traditional Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving Menus


LOS ALAMITOS, California – Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving are right around the corner, and according to research from Frieda’s Specialty Produce, as consumers emerge from the pandemic, they are considering ways to put a new twist on their traditional recipes this holiday season, especially when it comes to dessert. To celebrate the start of the November holiday season and to help consumers supercharge their traditional menus and make them extraordinary, today Frieda’s announces its partnership with Lauren Ko, Instagram phenomenon, founder of @lokokitchen and New York Times Best-Selling Author of PIEOMETRY. For the first time ever, Ko is working with Frieda’s to help bakers of all abilities up-level their holiday celebrations with Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes. Her newest work-of-art is called the Stokes Purple® Wave Pie.

“The holidays are evolving, and Thanksgiving is especially meaningful this year. People want to create. They want to bake. They want to experience something extraordinary after being so cautious for so long. Thanksgiving should be vibrant, healthy, colorful and delicious,” said Cindy Sherman, director of marketing, innovation and insights for Frieda’s. “From our research, we know that people are looking for ways to dial up the mood, add color to their meals and up-level their traditional recipes this Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving. Thus, we are so thrilled to be partnering with Lauren Ko to celebrate this incredible, vibrant pie artistry.”

With food at the center of Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving celebrations, Frieda’s research revealed that more than 30% of consumers know it can bring a sense of comfort. Dessert is a major consideration and men, surprisingly, skewed higher in many areas of the research:

According to Sherman, dessert will be a major win with Ko’s Stokes Purple® Wave Pie, which brings together a filling featuring the just-right purple sweet potatoes, condensed milk and coconut cream topped with a design of purple potato waves with orange accents (using traditional sweet potatoes).

“This partnership is a match made in produce heaven! With the art that I love to create, Frieda’s unique offerings of fruit and vegetables inspire me to bake and build designs differently—with colors, textures and flavors,” said Lauren Ko. “I’ve experimented with a variety of potatoes, making both sweet and savory recipes, and I wanted to create something extra special for this holiday season. When I landed on the Stokes Purple® Wave Pie, I was really excited because every level of pie maker can use this recipe to create something extraordinary and artful. This extra touch of beauty feels especially needed after all we’ve been through with the pandemic.”

To bring even more inspiration and taste to the holidays, Frieda’s created two more trend-worthy recipes—Stokes Purple® Sweet Potato Mini Crostatas and Stokes Purple® Sweet Potato Hand Pies. These single-serve gems will give each consumer their own individual treat, which is a popular trend this holiday. These recipes build upon Frieda’s wildly popular original Stokes Purple® Sweet Potato Pie with Maple Whipped Cream, a decadent dessert that was created in 2018 and continues to be one of the company’s most popular recipes.

This holiday season the company is offering inspiration through new recipes so that everyone, at every level of indulgence, can create truly extraordinary holiday meals, according to Sherman. Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes are at the center of the holiday season because they are versatile and “just right”—not too sweet, too savory, too moist or too dry. Due to their deep purple color, they are full of anthocyanin antioxidants, just like blueberries, and are a good source of vitamin C and fiber, making them healthy, nutritious and delicious. Consumers can make healthy, colorful and delicious dishes that are both savory and sweet, from soups and fries to cakes and pies.

Frieda’s and Ko have created the following new holiday recipes. Find these recipes and more at

Stokes Purple® Wave Pie By Lauren Ko

Serving size: 8-10 / Prep time: 4 hours 15 min / Cook time: 2 hours 30 min

All-Butter Pie Dough


1/2 cup ice

1/2 cup cold water

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


Prep steps

  1. Combine ice and water in small cup or bowl. Set aside.
  2. Put flour, sugar and salt in large bowl and stir with spatula to combine. Sprinkle in butter cubes and toss until each cube is coated in flour mixture. Flatten each cube of butter with your pointer fingers and thumbs. Toss again to coat flattened butter pieces. Continue massaging butter into flour until remaining shards resemble cornflakes in a range of sizes.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons cold water, taking care not to include any ice; fluff moisture through flour and butter with spatula. Continue adding cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, pressing dough with spatula after each addition until it begins to come together. Avoid heavy kneading as overworking dough will lead to tough crust.
  4. If dough is still dry and doesn’t hold together when a handful is squeezed, add a little more water. Don’t add too much water (usually 3-5 tablespoons total is sufficient).
  5. When dough begins to hold together, turn it out onto work surface and gently form it into rounded mound. Wrap dough tightly in plastic, then gently press into a round flat disk, about 1 inch in thickness.
  6. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight before rolling.

Stokes Purple® Wave Pie Filling



1 pound Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes, roasted, peeled and roughly chopped into 1-inch chunks

1/2 can (7 ounces) condensed milk

2 tablespoons coconut cream

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Place roasted sweet potatoes in blender container or food processor bowl, along with all other filling ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Final Ingredients

5 medium or 3 large Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes

1 orange sweet potato (optional)


Cooking Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. On floured surface, roll rested disk of dough into a 14-inch circle. Roll dough onto rolling pin and unfurl it over 9-inch pie pan. Taking edges of the dough, gently ease it into pie pan, nestling it into the inner elbows of pan. Trim excess dough with kitchen shears to create 1-inch overhang. Fold overhang back under, creating an elevated edge. Crimp dough all around pie edge. Freeze pie shell solid, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. To blind-bake, line frozen pie shell tightly with foil. Fill to top with pie weights and place on rimmed baking sheet to catch any butter drips. Bake 35 minutes until foil no longer sticks to dough. Remove foil and pie weights, then bake another 10-15 minutes or until crust begins to brown.
  4. Pour prepared filling into par-baked pie shell; smooth surface with spatula. Set aside.
  5. Peel uncooked sweet potatoes. Use sharp chef’s knife or mandolin to slice potatoes thinly. The slices shouldn’t be too thick to bend, but neither should they be translucent. They will need to stand upright in sweet potato filling.
  6. Gather six slices of purple potato and lay them in slightly overlapping line on cutting board. Carefully transfer line of potatoes as single unit and stand them up in sweet potato filling, curving line slightly and using filling to hold everything securely in place.
  7. Gather six more slices of potato and repeat process, then transfer to pie, placing adjacent to first line and following curve. Continue process of fitting lines of potatoes—staggering lines and varying curves—until entire surface of pie is covered. Vary number of slices in each line depending on remaining space. If using orange sweet potatoes for color variance, intersperse occasional lines of orange sweet potatoes.
  8. Using pastry brush, brush small amount of melted coconut oil over tops of potato slices and cover pie securely with aluminum foil. The foil will help steam potato slices during baking and prevent them from drying out. Place pie on rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Brush a little more coconut oil on potato slices and continue baking for another 30-45 minutes or until potato slices are tender.
  9. Serve pie warm or at room temperature. Store well-sealed leftovers in refrigerator; consume within three days.

Stokes Purple® Sweet Potato Mini Crostatas

Makes: 16 / Prep time: 20 min / Cook time: 20-25 min


Pie Filling

1 cup cooked Stokes® Purple sweet potato (roughly 1 medium potato)

1/4 cup organic granulated sugar

1 large organic egg

1/2 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons coconut milk



1 (14-ounce) box double-crust ready-made pie dough


Cooking Steps 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, 375 degrees for convection.
  2. In food processor bowl, pulse all filling ingredients gently until smooth and well combined.
  3. Gently unroll pie dough. Cut 4-inch circles using round cookie cutter or ring mold. Gather leftover dough, re-roll and cut more circles.
  4. Transfer rounds to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet potato filling to center of rounds, smoothing tops. Gently fold edges over to partially cover filling.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes depending on desired color.

Adapted from a recipe by Chef Brandon Hall, Owner of Thyme Well Spent

Stokes Purple® Sweet Potato Hand Pies

Makes: 16 / Prep time: 22 min / Cook time: 20-25 min


Pie Filling

1 cup cooked Stokes® Purple sweet potato (roughly 1 medium potato)

1/4 cup organic granulated sugar

1 large organic egg

1/2 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons coconut milk



2 (14-ounce) boxes double-crust ready-made pie dough

Cooking steps

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, 375 degrees for convection.
  2. In food processor bowl, pulse all filling ingredients gently until smooth and well combined.
  3. Gently unroll pie dough. Cut 4-inch circles using round cookie cutter or ring mold. Gather leftover dough, re-roll and cut more circles.
  4. Cut 2-inch circle, square, triangle, diamond or other shape from center of half the rounds; leave the other half uncut.
  5. Transfer uncut rounds to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Add 1½-2 tablespoons sweet potato filling to center of whole rounds, smoothing filling to within ½-inch of edges. Add more sweet potato pie filling if desired—depends how full you want your pies. Brush edges with water. Top with rounds with shapes of cut outs. Crimp edges with fingers or fork.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes depending on desired color. Keep oven light on. Halfway through baking, check to see if pies need rotating depending on how evenly they’re baking.


Adapted from a recipe by Chef Brandon Hall, Owner of Thyme Well Spent

For more recipes that visit For media materials, visit and download Frieda’s media kit.

Los Alamitos, CA (September 2021) –  Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes are back in season, and it’s the ideal time to showcase these colorful tubers. Frieda’s makes it easy with eye-catching, stand-alone shippers that help consumers realize they can easily add color and flair to their holiday meal.

Research shows that rich-hued purple vegetables are in demand, and pie is hotter than ever. A recent survey reveals that half of consumers plan to serve sweet potato pie this Thanksgiving, and more than one-third of consumers specifically said that they plan to make Stokes Purple® sweet potato pie with maple whipped cream. Surprisingly, men showed a bias for this versus women, and the purple pie over-indexes in popularity with consumers ages 18-44. 1


Why, you might ask? It might have something to do with the mixed sentiment of the holidays this year.  Consumers want to celebrate but are still cautious to do so, so they’re looking for small ways to dial up the mood this Thanksgiving. In fact, 20% of consumers agreed that Thanksgiving would feel more festive if the food were more colorful (and this was as high as 25% amongst those with children). Additionally, 64% of consumers agreed that they wanted to make a beautiful dessert that adds color to the table, especially amongst consumers ages 25-34. 1


What better way to add display space for Stokes Purple sweet potatoes than an exclusive shipper, available only from Frieda’s? The eye-catching display showcases a camera phone-friendly ingredient list and QR code for the full recipe.


“Shopper interest in Stokes just keeps going up. Previously thought to be a specialty potato, our research shows that all demographics are buying Stokes year-round, and Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to gain trial in all stores,” says Alex Berkley, Frieda’s director of sales.  “Our tastebud-tantalizing signage will leave your shoppers craving our signature Stokes Purple® sweet potato pie.


Organic and conventional Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes are available now through May in 15-lb. and 40-lb. cartons. Every potato is labeled to reduce front-end checker error. An organic 12/3-lb. bag option is also available.


Call your Frieda’s account manager today for help in planning your ads now and pre-booking supply.


1 C+R 1,000 person study, August 2021

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit and dragon fruit, to Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes and habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Inspire. Taste. Love.

Los Alamitos, CA (March 2021) International Women’s Month, celebrated in March, is the perfect time to spotlight the incredible women who have paved the way for women all over the world. As a proud female and family founded, owned and led business, Frieda’s Specialty Produce wanted to do something innovative to recognize women pioneers.

A campaign unveiled across multiple social media platforms features our founder Frieda Rapoport Caplan, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and poet laureate Amanda Gorman. Their iconic styles and personalities were brought to life through produce like colored cauliflower, Stokes Purple® sweet potato, shishito peppers and Snow Dragon™ fruit.

“My mother would have gotten such a kick out of seeing her portrait recreated out of dragon fruit and colored cauliflower,” says Karen Caplan, president and CEO of Frieda’s Specialty Produce. “It brings such joy to honor her alongside the legendary RBG and the voice of the next generation, Amanda Gorman. We wanted to focus on women who have inspired us, but in true Frieda’s fashion do it in a way that makes people smile.”

This International Women’s month we salute all female trailblazers inside and outside the produce industry, from fearless frontline warriors to the female scientists working on the vaccines and all of the moms in between.
To all the women in our lives, thank you for everything you do!


To view the campaign, please visit our social media pages:
Instagram –
Facebook –




Los Alamitos, CA – (December 2020) – While past food predictions may have highlighted adventurous eating and culinary feats, this year’s pandemic has firmly put the focus back on classic comfort … with a twist. The tastemakers at Frieda’s Specialty Produce, known for spotting food trends with longevity, have some interesting predictions up their sleeves to help retailers make room for an exciting 2021.

“The pandemic has shifted the focus from macro trends such as travel, celebrity chefs and molecular gastronomy, to the realities of everyday living. Quarantining, social distancing, and continued sheltering in-place means that 2021 will be primarily influenced by what’s directly around us, with an emphasis on health, wellness and that feel-good factor we so desperately need,” says Cindy Sherman, director of marketing, insights & innovation at Frieda’s Specialty Produce.

So, what does this mean for shoppers? Here’s what you can expect in 2021:

Bubbles Up!
Whether it’s kombucha or sparkling water with outrageous flavor combinations, effervescence is exploding! These fizzy tonics combine the benefits of prebiotics and probiotics, plant fiber, and functional herbs and botanicals to deliver flavor and fitness. We love mixing aperol with muddled rambutan and a splash of grapefruit juice for a fun, fruity spritz!

Down Home Comfort
Cooking fatigue is real. Bread has been baked, spirits have been distilled and soufflés have risen. Help shoppers hang on a little longer by inspiring them to elevate their at-home game. Incorporate Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes into sweet treats like babka or homemade ice cream.

Rule Reversal
Cereal for dinner and mac & cheese for breakfast? After a year of extremes, the focus is on what’s best for YOU! Bored with the same old Zoom routine? Play a rousing game of spice roulette with shishito peppers, or spice up your charcuterie boards with offbeat options like dragon fruit and rambutan. It’s time to bend the rules.

 Hold the Bread…
…and the meat, but not the flavor! Shoppers are being spoiled for choice with alternatives that pair better-for-you ingredients with classic comfort. Hearts of palm pasta, cricket-flour cookies, and so much more. Going paleo? No problem! Try Stokes Purple® sweet potato crostinis, or crispy jicama taco shells filled with meaty—but meatless—pulled jackfruit!

Polychromatic Plates
After a gloomy year, it’s time for bold graphics, pigmented palettes and foods in saturated hues. Paint your plate with beet-dyed noodles, rosy watermelon radish with pesto hummus, or a sprinkle of vibrant blue spirulina powder. Bright and oh-so-satisfying!


Home for the holidays? Us too!

With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, you’re probably wondering what the holidays will look like this year—so are we! Celebrating the holidays may look quite a bit different, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be just as special—in fact, there has never been a better time to throw out the old (traditions) and ring in the new! Read on to find bold, stress-free, and responsible ways to add your own unique spin to the holidays.

See You on the Other Side (of the Screen)

If there’s one thing we’ve embraced this year, it’s simplicity. While nothing compares to seeing your friends’ smiling faces in person, a virtual Thanksgiving may just be the next best thing. Not only do you get to invite as many people you want, but it’s also the perfect way to catch up with people who you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to see over the holidays … minus all the stress!

Invite your friends, pick a date, choose your favorite virtual platform, set up an online doc with a meal plan and grocery list for everyone to see, and then on the chosen day, prep and cook together, if you have the time, or set a time for everyone to log in and enjoy together (virtually, of course). A great way to get ahead of menu planning is by researching what’s local and seasonal and take it from there. This year, the rules just don’t count.

We recommend shaking up the classics and giving them a vibrant upgrade, like this Hearty Stokes Purple® sweet potato and cipolline onion breadless stuffing, or a Creamy Stokes Purple® sweet potato soup which not only keeps the menu light and easy, but is also bright and festive!


And what are the holidays without a little liquid celebration? Try a citrusy Kumquat Ginger Smash or the heady Passion Fruit Mojito, and the fortifying Rainbow Carrot, Turmeric, Ginger, and Blood Orange Juice—delicious with or without alcohol!


(Socially Distanced) Sugar Rush

If a full menu sounds like too much, why not keep it simple and skip straight to dessert? Host your very own virtual bake off, and while there may not be any Great British Bake Off grand-prize winner, where there’s pie, everyone’s a winner. We highly recommend the no-sweat, easy-peasy Frieda’s Stokes Purple® sweet potato pie with fluffy maple whipped cream for a fun, modern twist on a classic Thanksgiving favorite.

Not a pie person? Try these Stokes Purple® sweet potato dark chocolate coconut cups, which are a great way to exercise portion control and restraint (even though you may not want to!). Plus, they pack a nutritional punch with Vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants, which is something we all could use right about now. Not convinced? Read all about the nutritional punch these purple sweet potatoes pack here.


The Great Friendsgiving Drop-Off

Still want a big meal without all the leftovers and hard work? A door drop-off is just what you need. Divide up the menu and have all your friends cook one (or several) of their favorite dishes, divide up the portions, and drop them off at each other’s door—the perfect way to get your fill of sweet, savory, and of course easy!

Looking for inspiration? Try these Hasselback Stokes purple® sweet potato with ginger turmeric glaze, easy to make and transport! Pro tip: Make a double batch of the glaze and save the leftover for spreading on toast or adding zippy flavor to roasted vegetables. If you’re looking for something a little more comforting, try making a batch of these Stokes Purple® sweet potato biscuits with maple butter glaze, a deliciously cozy and easily transportable dish to drop off to friends and family. They’re perfect to pair with your Thanksgiving spread or enjoy in the morning before the big feast begins.

Would it even be 2020 if we didn’t mention the year’s biggest vegetarian food trend … the cauliflower? This multicolored cruciferous veggie is not only delicious, but also extremely versatile and easy to cook, especially our Whole roasted colored cauliflower with salsa verde or the incredibly breathtaking (tasting?) Whole roasted purple cauliflower with a romesco sauce…*chefs kiss*

Pro tip: If you decide to make the turkey, make sure you take into account food allergies and restrictions.


Charcuterie Board Banksy

Kick your virtual happy hour up a notch and add an element of creativity with a fun charcuterie board contest. A charcuterie board is typically filled with cured meats, cheeses, veggies, dried fruit, nuts, and crackers, but since we’ve done away with the rules, add whatever you want!

Start by defining a theme—rainbows, desserts or good old Thanksgiving foods are a few easy options- appoint a judge (preferably one who can’t be bought with yummy treats) and then get ready to get competitive! If you’ve got your eye on the prize, then amp up the drama with fresh dragon fruit, kiwi berries, finger limes, kumquats, rambutan and watermelon radishes to not only set your board apart, but also add bright and festive pops of color.


So Close, But Just Far Enough

If nothing can replace the feeling of actually being together, host a small and socially distanced gathering in your backyard with a potluck style spread. Set up an outdoor projector, watch some movies and have a small fire going, and let your guests graze on hummus and crudités, assorted skewers, Stokes Purple® sweet potato crostini with goat cheese, slices of our Winter Citrus Tart that hits all the right notes of sweet and tart, and cozy up with a mug of Golden Milk Turmeric Chai, or a nourishing Ginger and Turmeric Sipping Broth that feels like a hug in a mug.

Sure, this might not feel like your typical Friendsgiving dinner, sharing drinks and dishes—and the occasional drama—but it’s still worth celebrating. The celebrations may require putting in a little more effort than years past, but don’t let that stop you from reaching out—whether that’s 6 feet or 600 miles apart.

Wishing you all a safe, yummy, and inspiring Holiday season!