KANSAS CITY — Convenience was a key driver behind Del Monte Foods, Inc.’s flood of innovation over the past year as the company branched beyond the canned food aisle and into the snack, refrigerated and frozen aisles of the grocery store.

Last November, Del Monte Foods launched Fruit & Oats snack cups, featuring ready-to-eat oatmeal with fruit that may be eaten hot or cold. The cups debuted in apple cinnamon, peach cinnamon and pear maple flavors. Blueberry apple and strawberry apple varieties joined the lineup in February 2019.

“Fruit & Oats is the latest example of Del Monte innovating to stay in tune with the evolving needs of its consumers, creating on-the-go snacks and meals that are convenient and nutritious, without sacrificing quality or flavor,” said Bibie Wu, chief marketing officer of Del Monte Foods. “Consumers can expect to see further innovation from the brand in the coming year as it continues to diversify beyond the canned goods aisle.”

In August, Del Monte delivered on its diversification promise with the launch of Bubble Fruit, a line of snack cups combining the classic fruit cup with boba. Bubble Fruit comes in peach strawberry lemonade, sour apple watermelon and pear berry pomegranate flavors. The convenient, better-for-you snacks contain a full serving of fruit.

“We have made it our priority to drive our innovation to meet the needs of today’s consumers who are looking for new exciting food experiences, flavors and textures,” said Liam Farrell, vice-president of brand marketing for Del Monte Foods. “By leveraging on-trend inspiration like the boba phenomenon, Bubble Fruit is a clever reinvention of a classic product that kids will want to eat, and parents will feel good about serving.”

Del Monte expanded its snacking portfolio again in October with Fruit Crunch Parfaits, a new line of non-dairy parfaits. Made with coconut creme, which provides the “flavor, texture and richness of yogurt,” Del Monte said. The parfaits come with a honey oat granola topping and are available in mango, strawberry, blueberry, and pineapple coconut flavors.

“We envisioned Fruit Crunch Parfait as a reinvented classic that is ideal for the wellness-minded consumer striving toward balancing great taste, nutrition and convenience.” — Liam Farrell, Del Monte Foods

“We envisioned Fruit Crunch Parfait as a reinvented classic that is ideal for the wellness-minded consumer striving toward balancing great taste, nutrition and convenience,” Mr. Farrell said. “We’re thrilled to expand our presence in the refrigerator aisle with a non-dairy — yet deliciously crave-worthy — product, something you can feel good about eating. Here at Del Monte, we’re always monitoring industry trends and we firmly believe that Fruit Crunch Parfait delivers on what consumers are looking for.”

Later in October, Del Monte brought its Contadina brand beyond the canned tomato aisle for the first time with the launch of Contadina Pizzettas, a new line of better-for-you frozen pizza bites. Providing one full serving of vegetables per five pieces, the Pizzettas feature a blend of Roma tomato sauce and cheese stuffed in a crust baked with cauliflower. The pizza snacks come in three varieties: four cheese, Margherita and garden vegetable.

“Contadina has always provided the freshest ingredients to prepare the most satisfying Italian dishes,” Mr. Farrell said. “What better way to celebrate Contadina’s centennial than with Pizzettas, expanding the brand into a better-for-you, convenient snack option for today’s busy lifestyle. After months of looking at the latest food trends, better understanding of our consumer needs and competitive landscape, we’re excited to offer this alternative to the traditional pizza bite with real, authentic Italian flavor right in your local grocery’s freezer aisle.”

Also in October, Del Monte Foods introduced Veggieful Bites, featuring a savory blend of vegetables and cheese baked in a crust made with cauliflower and whole wheat. Available in broccoli and cheddar, spinach and feta, and veggie and mozzarella varieties, the snacks contain one full serving of vegetables per five-bite serving.

“We are excited to grow the frozen snack category with Veggieful Bites to revitalize the notion that nutrition and great taste can coexist in the frozen aisle,” Mr. Farrell said. “Del Monte first and foremost keeps consumers’ ever-changing needs in mind when developing new products. In a fast and mobile world, we envision Veggieful Bites as a delicious and nutritious option that can be everyone’s first choice for a party snack, holiday appetizer, and more.”

College Inn Simple Starter one pot mealIn November, Del Monte delivered a new meal starter solution to support the one-pot meal trend with new College Inn brand Simple Starter. The seasoned meal starters are made with College Inn stock, herbs and seasonings and come in three flavors: savory chicken, hearty beef and Mexican style.

“College Inn is excited to unveil our new Simple Starter,” Mr. Farrell said. “As the trend of one-pot meals continues to soar, we anticipate Simple Starter becoming a creative solution to busy consumers’ wants and needs for simple-to-make weeknight meals. Not only is it super easy to use, Simple Starter creates nourishing and delicious, full-flavor meals that will have family and friends thinking you spent all day in the kitchen.”

Del Monte is currently rolling out new Veggieful Bowls, featuring a blend of vegetables, whole grains and a savory sauce. The ready-to-eat 7.4-oz bowls contain one full serving of vegetables and are available in four varieties: Southwest style corn, roasted red pepper, garlic and herb, and Asian style soy sesame.

View slideshow of new products from Del Monte Foods.