Licensing is not new to the world of packaged goods. Often, when the right brand is licensed in the proper category, multiple companies can benefit from increased consumer awareness, strong sales and more. General Mills is exploring this route with the launch of its Romano's Macaroni Grill Restaurant Favorites line of shelf-stable meal kits. The line offers gourmet flavor options, such as Chicken Marsala, Creamy Basil Parmesan, Chicken Alfredo with Linguine and Garlic Herb Chicken. Consumers simply need to add meat, generally chicken, or even shrimp for some varieties.

The product is often found on-shelf with Hamburger Helper products, but it is premium-priced, driven by the gourmet flavors and positioning. One question is whether the line will cannibalize from the Helper line. Most likely, this will bring a new type of consumer to the category--those who generally purchase frozen meal kits, but due to increasing food costs, are looking for less expensive premium alternatives.