Hitting the Shelves: Prepared Entrees & Side Dishes
A look at new prepared entrees and side dishes making a debut in May 2018
Farmers Land Food GmbH, Ratingen, Germany, used Natural Products Expo West to showcase three “tasty new ways to eat wholesome when you’re in a hurry.”
The 9.9-ounce, frozen bowl entrees are designed to thaw in the fridge, microwave or at room temperature. Varieties include Natural (with Lowfat Yogurt), Açai and a Greek-style Yogurt.
“Start the day right with a long-lasting energy kick courtesy of our three balanced blends of yogurt, select fruits, nuts, cereals and antioxidant powerhouses like açai berry,” the company says. “Or enjoy a Breakfast Bowl as an afternoon snack or a light dinner to cap off a busy day … Just thaw, stir and enjoy.”
Here are the company ingredient descriptions for each variety:
Natural Bowl: Low-fat yogurt with nut cereals and fruits (mango, raspberry, blueberry).
Acai Bowl: Açaí purée product (with banana purée, açaí purée, rice milk), high-fiber cereals and fruits (strawberry, mango, blueberry).
Greek Bowl: Mixes rich, protein- packed Greek yogurt with crunchy cereals. Here to join the party: red grapes and sweet, juicy chunks of apple and mango. Ingredients include Greek style yogurt with high-fiber cereals and fruits (apple, mango grapes).
All products are labeled as Non-GMO Project Verified.
Following the success of their celebrated seafood meal kits, which are inspired by the classic French technique of cooking en papillote (in parchment), LoveTheWild, Boulder, Colo., introduced a new line of microwavable bowl entrees that are ready to eat in fewer than 5 minutes.
LoveTheWild seafood offerings are available at Whole Foods Market nationwide, Fresh Direct, Wegman’s, Target, and independent grocers nationwide. LoveTheWild sampled bowl offerings at Natural Products Expo West and says the new bowls will be widely available by this fall.
Each bowl features whole grains, bold flavors and a combination of ingredients that celebrate a variety of beloved regional cuisines: Baja Fish Taco Bowl with Barramundi (Gluten-free), Sweet & Spicy Korean BBQ Bowl with Salmon, Craft Ale Scampi Bowl with Shrimp and a Hawaiian Style Tropical Bowl with Barramundi (Gluten-free).
“LoveTheWild’s bowls are more than just a convenient, delicious meal,” says Jacqueline Claudia, founder and CEO of LoveTheWild. “Our company’s mission is to make life better for people and the earth by taking the intimidation and risk out of preparing exceptional fish. We are meticulous in how we source our ingredients, and work with the most brilliant and tireless of chefs.”
American Halal Company Inc., Stamford, Conn., used Natural Products Expo West to introduce four new frozen bowl entrees under the company’s Saffron Road brand.
Varieties include Shoyu Ramen Bowl with Chicken, Sesame Ginger Udon Bowl with Chicken, Tan Tan Ramen Bowl with Chicken and a Vegetable Tan Tan Bowl with Tofu.
“Saffron Road brings the booming trend of upscale Ramen to the freezer aisle,” says John Umlauf, senior vice president of culinary operations. “Made with classic ingredients, richly simmered bone (or vegetable) broth, and carefully formed noodle nests, these recipes showcase some of the most popular flavors found on the ‘ramen scene’ today.”
Umlauf notes that 6-ounce package comes with instructions for consumers to add water just before heating (thus creating a 10-ounce serving). He adds all new bowl entrees meet Saffron Road’s highest standard of halal and that all items are free of yeast extracts and MSG. Additionally, the three chicken varieties feature antibiotic-free chicken and tofu ingredients are Non-GMO Project Verified.
The new bowls will be line priced with Saffron Road’s other frozen entrees at $4.99. Initial distribution this spring will include Sprouts and Lucky’s supermarkets.
Supermarket shoppers already know Bob Evans Farms Inc. for its refrigerated side dishes. Now the New Albany, Ohio, company—part of Post Holdings—is branching into refrigerated prepared meals. Its new Family Classics line debuted with two varieties: Roasted Chicken Alfredo Pasta and Creamy Chicken & Noodles.
Officials say both new items deliver two and a half servings per 20-ounce container and offer 16g of protein and fewer than 350 calories per serving.
“Our consumers have been requesting new delicious, protein-filled foods from us to make their mealtime easier and more filling. We’ve listened and have been busy in the kitchen finding the solution,” says Chris Lambrix, Bob Evans Farms senior vice president, Retail Business Development. “We’ve created these two filling and flavorful Family Classic dishes to provide consumers access to convenient food—ready in just minutes in the microwave—that doesn’t compromise taste or quality.”
Lambrix says Roasted Chicken Alfredo Pasta features oven-roasted white meat and penne pasta in a creamy Alfredo sauce, which is made with real milk, butter and parmesan cheese. The Creamy Chicken & Noodles also features oven-roasted white meat and home-style egg noodles, with peas and diced red bell peppers in a savory cream sauce.
Bob Evan’s popular refrigerated side dishes include Original Mashed Potatoes and Macaroni & Cheese, as well as other items such as like Glazed Apples, Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Homestyle Stuffing.
Day-Lee Foods, Inc., Santa Fe Springs, Calif., used the 2018 Winter Fancy Food Show to unveil a line of three Asian Bowls.
“The launch of our new Asian Bowls marks an exciting evolution for Crazy Cuizine as we enter the individually-portioned frozen meal space for the first time,” said Craig Jaunzemis, director of marketing. “Our fans across the country have come to know and love our brand for delivering delicious, restaurant-quality family meals from the freezer aisle to the table in less than 18 minutes. We wanted to expand our portfolio to offer convenient options for single-meal occasions, like lunch at the office, home and school, dinnertime and more.”
Officials say each “heat and eat” Asian Bowl comes complete with No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) white meat chicken glazed with delectable sauces and paired rice and vegetable medleys. The bowls will be sold in single units and in four-pack boxes. Varieties include…
… Mandarin Orange Chicken Bowl: NAE white meat chicken lightly battered and glazed in a sweet Mandarin orange sauce over seasoned rice and a vegetable medley of carrots, green peas, red bell peppers and onions. It offers 17g of protein per serving.
… Teriyaki Chicken Bowl: Steamed NAE white meat chicken drizzled with a teriyaki sauce atop long grain brown rice, diced red bell peppers and tender edamame. It offers 27g of protein per serving.
… General Tso’s Chicken Bowl: Tender NAE white meat chicken glazed with a zesty ginger sauce on a bed of long grain white rice, diced red bell peppers and broccoli. It offers 17g of protein per serving.
Crazy Cuizine Asian Bowls began shipping to grocery stores nationwide in April.
Kraft Heinz, Chicago, introduced a new line of DEVOUR frozen sandwiches and promoted the line’s release with that of May 18 debut of the movie, “Deadpool 2” from Twentieth Century Fox Film.
In the new digital spot, Deadpool takes viewers inside his dreams. It shows him riding a unicorn through a supermarket in search of a satisfying sandwich that will tantalize even a superhero’s cravings. He encounters a cast of characters along the way, from a casino of frozen food characters to a sassy little girl, before absconding with the sandwiches into a giant dream-like microwave.
The campaign also includes custom Devour packaging featuring Deadpool, as well as POS and outdoor in select markets.
“We created our DEVOUR sandwiches to satisfy real cravings,” said Katy Marshall, marketing and sales lead at Springboard, a new Kraft Heinz platform dedicated to nurturing, scaling, and accelerating growth of disruptive food brands, including DEVOUR. “We believe you shouldn’t have to compromise taste for convenience, so we designed our new sandwiches to taste like food you would find at a restaurant.”
DEVOUR sandwich varieties include Philly Cheesesteak; a remix of a traditional grilled cheese with Buffalo Chicken; Sweet and Smoky Pork, also known as BBQ on the go; and the dream team of Turkey Bacon and Ranch.
Sandwiches are ready to eat in under three minutes and come in a microwaveable tray that doubles as a sandwich holder. The sandwiches are available nationwide a suggested retail price of $3.50.
IRI Honors First-Year Sales Achievers
IRI announced last year’s most successful consumer packaged goods launches in its 2017 New Product Pacesetters report, the CPG industry-recognized benchmark analysis of exceptional first-year new product sales success. Thousands of new brands hit retail shelves during 2017, with 49% of the top-ranking brands hailing from small manufacturers—defined as those earning less than $1 billion annually—and accounting for 26% of Pacesetter dollars. Overall, the top-selling 200 new brands captured cumulative year-one sales of more than $4.6 billion across IRI’s multi-outlet geography.
Using its IRI Market Advantage data, IRI announced the top 10 honorees, ranked by total year one dollar sales (multi-outlet), as Halo Top ice cream, $324.2 million; GOOD THiNS, $87.0 million; Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee, $67.1 million; Nestlé Splash, $55.2 million; PepsiCo LIFEWTR, $50.4 million; SmartMade by Smart Ones, $49.3 million; Hershey’s Cookie Layer Crunch, $47.7 million; Hillshire Snacking kits, $47.5 million; Campbell’s Well Yes! Soups, $47.3 million; and Cracker Barrel Macaroni & Cheese, $46.6 million.
Interestingly enough, three of the top 10 finishers are prepared entrees and side dishes. They are Smart Ones’ new SmartMade entrees (Kraft Heinz), Campbell Soup’s Well Yes! soups and Cracker Barrel Macaroni & Cheese (Kraft Heinz).
“Consumers are demanding products that are customized to their needs, and this type of targeted innovation continues to put small and niche companies on the New Product Pacesetter map,” said Susan Viamari, vice president of Thought Leadership for IRI. “Just five years ago, an estimated nine out of every 10 Pacesetters launched were extensions of existing brand lines. In 2017, 40% of food and beverage and 25% of non-food Pacesetters were brands entirely new to the CPG marketplace. This clearly demonstrates consumers’ willingness to try ‘unknown’ brands. Millennials, in particular, are more moved by experiences and solutions to their needs and less likely to purchase based solely on brand name.”
“Smaller, more targeted product launches have become the new norm in CPG aisles, as manufacturers look to enhance impact with launches that align more closely with key consumer needs and wants,” added Larry Levin, executive vice president of Consumer and Shopper Marketing for IRI. “In a testament to the power of this shift, 20% of this year’s top-selling launches earned less than $10 million during their first year on the shelves, continuing a trend we found in last year’s analysis.”
For the top 100 food and beverage champions, median year-one sales were $14.5 million, excluding outlier Halo Top, which earned year-one sales of $342.2 million. All of the top 10 New Product Pacesetter brands were new market entrants, though many of these—including Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee, Nestlé Splash and Hershey’s Cookie Layer Crunch—certainly benefited from the equity their manufacturers already enjoy in the marketplace.
In the dinner sector, the largest launch was SmartMade by Smart Ones, a nutritious frozen meal inspired by the quality ingredients and smart cooking techniques used in the home. Eighteen of the 76 food Pacesetters are breakfast solutions, which cater to consumers at both ends of the wellness spectrum by offering both indulgent flavor experiences, such as Kellogg’s Cinnamon Frosted Flakes (ranked 19th) and healthier, on-the-go options, such as Jimmy Dean Delights Frittatas (ranked 23rd).