Driven by millennial demand for complex flavors and premium protein from classic dishes, Kroger is supporting two of Keystone Bar & Grill's signature mac & cheeses with a 200-plus store launch in the Midwest. Both Buffalo Bleu and BBQ & Bacon mac & cheese feature 20-plus grams of protein per serving.
Consumers frequent Keystone Bar & Grill restaurants for the signature mac & cheeses with intense, innovative flavor profiles. Buffalo Bleu mac & cheese combines powerfully scented dense bleu cheese crumbles with Keystone's tangy, spicy Buffalo-style sauce. BBQ & Bacon mac & cheese mixes smoky bacon with Keystone's signature sweet and savory BBQ sauce.
Founder Dan Cronican decided to make Keystone's signature mac & cheeses available for at-home consumption after years of hearing customers say, "This is so great, we'd love to buy it in stores." It took nearly a year of product quality testing to deliver a frozen mac & cheese that closely matches the made-from-scratch version prepared in the Cincinnati-metro restaurants. "Our customers will immediately connect the unique flavors of the frozen version with their restaurant experience," noted Cronican.
A recent online poll sent to over 10,000 residents of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky identified Mac & Cheese as the area's favorite comfort food, with over half of the respondents selected it as their No. 1 choice.
"Mac & Cheese is a uniquely special dish," explained Cronican. "It continues to provide a classic feeling of comfort when reimagined in more flavorful, complex forms."
For a suggested retail price of $8.99, consumers can get a 16-ounce serving of the popular mac & cheese to consume as an entrée for two, a side dish for four, or as mac & cheese bite appetizers for eight. To best replicate the restaurant experience, Keystone recommends preparation in a conventional oven. Microwave oven preparation makes the time to a speedy six minutes.