I am excited to have Packaged Facts here on the Food & Beverage site. Packaged Facts is a leading source for market data, trends, and analysis in consumer industries, including food, beverage, personal care, financial, pet products and services, and demographics. They produce detailed and in-depth research related to food and beverages and consumer trends. See what their Gourmet, Specialty and Premium Foods, Beverages and Consumer Trends unveils about innovation in the Gourmet and Specialty Foods Segment. Gourmet foods and specialty foods are areas where many food entrepreneurs start and excel.
Frozen and Shelf-Stable Meals
Bold flavors, restaurant quality, restaurant brand names, and fusion along with unique and differentiated ingredients lead the way in the frozen and shelf stable meals. Many also require assembly, giving the consumer the "feel" of cooking. The product launches capitalize on the trends of affordable luxuries and the recession weary attitude of many consumers.
A brand is like and umbrella and there is only "so much" you can credibly put under that umbrella before the brand is diluted and has less relevance to the consumer. What many food companies are starting to do is create highly targeted brands within the same company This is called a house of brands. One company that is doing this is Divine Pasta, creating artisan, restaurant quality frozen meals with brand names such as Pizza Romana, Cube Artisan Foods and Fla'ver Chef-Inspired Fusion Cuisine following the trends of artisan, restaurant and fusion.
The Cube Café is a trendy café, cheese bar and marketplace Los Angeles that introduced Cube Artisan Foods label prominently display "Inspired by Cube Café's Signature Dishes" playing off of their already existing Cube Café Brand. The line is an ecletic mix of a variety of marinated seafood dishes, two of which are Fresh Herb Marinated Wild Mahi Mahi and Chimichurri Wild Pacific Salmon. They use the Cube Café' as a testing ground for product development, something that any reader here who may be in the restaurant or retail business can do to vet out ideas.
They also launched the Pizza Romana line of 6 gourmet pizzas, 2 of which are Roasted Garlic Pesto with Grogonzola & Walnut and Basil Pesto with Mozzarella & Tomato. So what is the big deal about another pizza? The big deal is the story they of the product starting in the a small town of Visso using only natural spring water from the Siblini National Part… using only San Marzanno tomatoes…you get the point.
The food giant ConAgra Foods launched Alexia Select Sides that are premium potatoes and vegetable creations. Another restaurant inspired line started by a Manhattan chef that is twist on old favorites such as Roasted Red Potatoes & Baby Portabella Mushrooms and Roasted Red Potatoes & Italian Inspired Vegetables. Again this line requires some nominal customer preparation but that is part of the "emotional" connection I speak of so often in marketing. Don't you feel better about dinner if you have a bit of you in it?
The large companies continued the trend is expanding their base, not with their own brand but with well know restaurant names. Unilever, in partnership with P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc., created P.F Changs Home Menu line of eight premium frozen entrees.
Kraft licensed the well known California Pizza Kitchen brand to create Limited Edition single-serve Cheeseburger Crispy Thin Crust Frozen Pizza as well as three other new single-serve All-Natural Crust frozen pizza varieties.
In early 2010, food entrepreneurs at Popper Foods LLC recognized a consumer problem and an opportunity to reinvent sushi. Sushi is not exactly the kind of food that lends itself to "dashboard dining". No, that is not a $5 word; rather it is an industry term for foods that lend themselves to easy consumption while driving.
A Sushi Popper is prepackaged sushi meal that lets consumers eat sushi on the go without the mess. Each portable plastic tube is packed with eight pieces of precut sushi and some wasabi. After opening the top of the tube, you add soy sauce from a stick affixed attached to the packaging. Like the old fashioned ice pops, eat one piece, and then squeeze the next piece up the tube. The sushi-filled tubes-so far, offerings include California Rolls, Cucumber Rolls, Spicy Shrimp, and Chicken Teriyaki. They patented technology from a leading packaging equipment manufacturer to create this unique product format. Since Sushi is very perishable and requires specific skill sets to do it correctly they have a network of authorized local manufacturers to deliver the products directly to interested retailers. Further scaling their business opportunity Sushi Poppers comes frozen in six-packs, to be defrosted by retailers before sale or consumers before eating.