Looking for the next dynamic new product idea? In some cases, it might already exist in your product portfolio.

Just ask the team at Veggies Made Great (VMG). In 2021, executives at this Rahway, N.J., company wanted to enter the foodservice channel with its namesake frozen muffins and frittatas. With the help of a third-party consultant, VMG struck up a 2022 national distribution deal with Dot Foods and began expanding. Before the end of the year, it likewise branched into the convenience store channel.


Now VMG is reaping the rewards—and awards as well—from those earlier moves. This May, the National Restaurant Association recognized VMG’s frittata line as a FABI award winner. This July, Prepared Foods’ Spirit of Innovation Award judges also named VMG’s Spinach Egg White Frittata as best new entry in the alternative channel. 

For the record, VMG’s Spinach Egg White Frittata first debuted at retail in 2018. The frittata line also includes a Plant-Based Bacon, Egg & Cheese (made with cauliflower and onion) and a Mushroom & 3-Cheese Egg White Frittata (made with mushroom, cauliflower and kale). Officials note the 2oz hand-held frittatas—like all VMG offerings—feature natural ingredients and real vegetables as the first ingredient. The frittatas also are gluten-free, soy-free, a good source of protein and contain 90 calories or less per serving.

“Breakfast and snacking remain the core dayparts for convenience, with breakfast coming back strong since the pandemic. Moreover, convenience store operators have an opportunity to offer better-for-you, on-the-go items in place of sugary baked goods and overly indulgent breakfast items,” says Mike Ricciardi, Vice President, Foodservice Sales, Veggies Made Great. “Our two-pack frittatas are the perfect solution for those looking to elevate their healthier breakfast and morning snacking options. Not to mention, the afternoon and evening snack occasion remains a key daypart opportunity for c-stores. Bottom line: we’ve believe there’s a huge opportunity for operators to add healthier food and drink options across dayparts.”

Before its Spinach Egg White Frittata transitioned to foodservice and convenience channels, VMG’s R&D team needed to revisit it. Ricciardi says the related challenges came down to taste and texture in these more demanding environments. 

“Our challenges with the Spinach Egg White Frittata were making sure there was enough flavor and getting the right texture when using only egg whites,” says Ricciardi. “We used a blend of vegetables—including spinach, tomatoes, onions and red bell pepper—and we seasoned it with salt, pepper and garlic powder to create a flavorful frittata. The next biggest hurdle was making sure our frittatas tasted freshly made with the perfect texture. For c-stores, the two-pack frittatas are designed to go from freezer to microwave and then they hold for up to four hours in a warmer. We needed to ensure that each stayed moist after heating and holding in a warmer. All of this took a bit of trial and error, but it has certainly been worth it because we knew Spinach Egg White Frittatas have been a top seller at retail, year after year.”  

Last but not least, VMG also addressed packaging and display.

“We designed individually wrapped packaging to quickly call attention to the better-for-you attributes of our frittatas. That way, consumers understand what makes these a more nutritious solution,” notes Ricciardi. “Our packaging calls out protein, calories and note that the product is kosher as well as gluten free. For the warmers, we also created a header card and channel strips to provide immediate brand recognition and cue consumers that there’s healthier alternative. In the end, we offer convenient dashboard and desktop dining options that are exactly what today’s consumers seek out when looking for craveable, satisfying and healthier on-the-go food.”