Progressive Grocer - September 2017 - 86

Industry Events

NFRA Convention

users to keep track of the convention schedule, view the
attendee list and set business appointments.
During its convention month, NFRA is also busy with an
educational outreach program, October Cool Food for Kids.
The campaign is one of several NFRA efforts, which also
include March Frozen Food Month in March, June Dairy
Month, and June/July Ice Cream and Novelties.

New and Notable
The NFRA Convention is a "meet-greet-eat" event, known
as much for networking and educational opportunities as
for being a place to sample and learn more about the latest
frozen and refrigerated products. At a time of intense marketing and promotional efforts from NFRA and others, the
pace of new product development in frozen and refrigerated
categories is brisk, with a slew of new items introduced from
stalwart and startup brands alike to energize the category
and appeal to consumers looking for taste, convenience,
value and, increasingly, health and wellness.
Innovations cut across several product
types and formats:

Packaging technology: Several new products reflect

packaging focused on quality and quickness, such as Side
Delights Steamables Duo Potatoes, from San Franciscobased Fresh
Solutions Network, which are
triple-washed
and cooked in
a bag in eight
minutes. In the
mature frozen
pizza category,
Nestlé Pizza has
unveiled DiGiorno Crispy
Pan Pizza, baked in its own pan from the oven. In an entirely
different food category, WhiteWave Foods, of Broomfield,
Colo., has come out with One Touch Latte, which gives a
latte-like froth to a cup of coffee, with
an angled push of the canister.

Snack packs: Continuing a trend
over the past few years, more manufacturers have added to or introduced
convenient snack packages that
combine a variety of sweet and salty
snacks. Check out items like Hormel
Natural Choice snacks, from Austin,
Minn.-based Hormel Foods Corp.,
with unique varieties like oven-roasted turkey breast paired with pepper
jack cheese and dark-chocolatecovered blueberries, and Horizon
Organic Good & Go! Snacks, from
DanoneWave, of Broomfield, Colo.

86

For goodness'
sake: Many new

products fall under the
health-and-wellness
umbrella, launched
by both specialty and
major brands. Chicagobased Kraft Heinz, for example, has rolled out a line of
plant-based Boca Bowls, single-serve meatless meals in
Mexican and Mediterranean varieties. Aidells Sausage
Co., of San Lorenzo, Calif., has added to its line of
meats with Charbroiled Chicken Burgers in Chicken
& Apple, Spinach & Feta, and Caramelized Onion flavors, all made with chickens raised without antibiotics.
Oprah Winfrey tossed her name and brand reputation
into the ring this summer by teaming up with Kraft
Heinz on a line of O, That's Good refrigerated soups
and sides. In desserts, The Breyers brand, from Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based Unilever, recently introduced
Breyers Delights, made with with more protein and
fewer calories, while the Sara Lee brand, from Chicago-based Hillshire Brands, launched Perfect Pairings
pies, featuring flavored crusts made with real fruit, and
naturally sweetened without high-fructose corn syrup
or artificial flavors. Butter, too, is better for you, with
offerings like Less Sodium Butter with Canola Oil,
from Arden Hills, Minn.-based Land O'Lakes, and
Melt Organic Buttery Sticks, from Boise, Idaho-based
Prosperity Organic Foods, made from a blend of virgin
coconut oil, high-oleic sunflower oil and palm fruit oil.

Mainstream ethnic: Globally inspired cuisines
continue to influence all frozen and refrigerated segments,
as is evident in such items as Pillsbury Churro Bites, created by a partnership between Pennsauken, N.J.-based J&J
Snack Foods Corp. and General Mills, in Minneapolis,
and Mango Habanero Cottage Doubles, from Kraft Heinz
brand Breakstone's, among several other products.
Cream of the crop: Creamy is a big descriptor in

dairy right now, as demonstrated by products like Chobani
Smooth yogurt, from Norwich,
N.Y.-based Chobani, and easy-melt
mozzarella and pepper jack varieties
of Kraft Singles.

| Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | September 2017

Some assembly required:

On the heels of meal kits, a few
brands are delving into the segment
for retail. For example, Grecian
Delight, of Elk Grove Village, Ill,
has added Opaa! Premium Gyro
Kits, with all of the ingredients
needed for sandwiches, salads and
other dishes. Grocers, too, are offering their own branded meal kits,
including those from major chains
like Publix and Kroger. PG



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