Blends may aid in taking a new product from a value price point to a premium offering.
Prego Ready Meals microwave in 60 seconds. The Creamy Three Cheese Alfredo Rotini includes a butter and cream sauce combined with cheddar, Parmesan and romano cheeses. To get adults eating mac and cheese, Kraft Foods now offers a premium Cracker Barrel line. The cheddar havarti variety offers a decedent twist to this classic pasta side. Instant mashed potatoes go upscale. Idahoan Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes comes in both a multi-serving box and a single-serve microwaveable cup. It includes bleu, cheddar, Parmesan and romano cheeses.
Sausages makers have long been mixing cubes of cheddar and crumbles of feta into comminuted meats prior to encasement. As the meats and seasonings turning into sausage get more upscale, so are the cheeses. Johnsonville now offers 3 Cheese Italian Chicken Sausage made with cheddar, mozzarella and romano cheeses. Sausages by AmyLu include apple and Gouda; mozzarella, peppers and sundried tomatoes; and roasted garlic and Asiago variants. And private-label retailer Roundy’s has entered the premium sausage segment with an all-natural, three-cheese chicken sausage made with mozzarella, Parmesan and romano.
The new Urban Pie Pizza Company, a Palermo pizza brand, shows consumers how frozen pizza can be so much more than crust, sauce and mozzarella. The premium line includes three unique recipes. The toppings on “Lakeview” include chicken sausage, roasted yellow peppers, and three cheeses: Gouda, mozzarella and provolone. “Little Italy” uses pesto along with four cheeses: fresh mozzarella slices, Parmesan, provolone and romano. The “North End” goes overboard. The sauce is a truffle alfredo made with a blend of five cheeses: Asiago, fontina, mozzarella, Parmesan and romano. This gets topped with caramelized onions, shiitake and crimini mushrooms, and fresh basil, with an unexpected finish of capers sprinkled on top.
California Pizza Kitchen was the first national frozen pizza brand to break the rules of traditional pizza toppings. With its new microwaveable Crispy Flatbread line, the spinach and artichoke variety is topped with Asiago, mozzarella, Parmesan and romano cheeses. Retail giant Target offers a frozen wood-fired pizza line. The four cheese variety is described as being made with mozzarella and a selection of gourmet Italian cheeses on a hand-stretched crust. Those cheeses are brie, pecorino and grana. The brand also offers one of the few frozen pizzas with goat cheese, which gets combined with spinach.
Nothing says comfort food more than a soup and warm sandwich. Cheese adds a layer of indulgence. Progresso has introduced the Bistro Cups line of soups that get brewed in a Keurig machine. As one can imagine, this process is quite limiting, as all the ingredients must be powders and fit into the little K-cup. Parmesan finds its way into the creamy tomato variant. Campbell’s grows its microwaveable cup soup line with home-style recipes, including creamy Gouda bisque with chicken. AdvancePierre recently introduced the Batter Bakery frozen sandwich line. Described as “always hand crafted,” these artisan sandwiches include ham, cheddar and smoked bacon, and turkey, provolone and smoked bacon.
Jimmy Dean continues to grow its Delights frozen breakfast foods brand with microwaveable frittatas. The bacon and spinach variety includes mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. New Aunt Jemima Griddle Melts are designed for dashboard dining. The microwaveable slice of hearty toast comes topped with scrambled eggs, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, and a creamy cheese sauce. Even more convenient are new Cooked Perfect Breakfast Bites. These bite-sized balls are loaded with sausage, scrambled eggs and cheese, all covered with a golden breading.