State of the Industry / Industry News

Meals that Redefine School Lunch Programs

July 16, 2014

Good-bye mystery meat and hello nutritious school meals. That’s because today’s meals and entrées are redefining the nation’s school lunch programs by providing nutritious offerings for kids of all ages.

Gluten-free continues to receive an A
Elevation Brands, LLC, Framingham, Mass., and Slade Gorton, Boston, launched a host of gluten-free, allergen-friendly “center of the plate” Child Nutrition (CN) products for the school foodservice industry. Sold under the Ian’s and ICYBAY brands, these products meet all nutrition standards for the School Lunch Program as defined by the Food and Nutrition Service of the USDA. The new line features two chicken and six fish options with two distinct gluten-free and allergy-friendly whole grain batter and breading systems. The product line will carry the CN designation from the USDA, providing assurance to schools in the K-12 market that the products meet nutritional requirements. 

For its part, Kiki’s Gluten-Free Foods, Arlington Heights, Ill., launched what is said to be the first gluten-free deep dish pizza for the foodservice industry. Pre-baked and frozen, this ready-to-bake deep dish pizza is designed to reheat directly in its own pan. The pizza is only ever removed from the pan once it’s served to the consumer. Kiki’s gluten-free deep dish pizza is available in 6- and 10-inch sizes and comes in Cheese, Italian Sausage and Vegan/Dairy-Free varieties.

Enhanced turkey offerings
Sara Lee Foodservice, a division of The Hillshire Brands Co., Chicago, introduced an enhanced product portfolio for the K-12 education sector, focusing on turkey items for both breakfast and lunch. The new products include Turkey Chili, Turkey with Gravy, Turkey Sloppy Joe Meat, Turkey Spaghetti Sauce, Turkey Taco Filling and Diced Turkey Breast Meat under the Briar Street Market brand.

Convenience foods to the rescue
AdvancePierre Foods, Cincinnati, introduced a new line of convenience and vending sandwiches. The Pierre Signatures sandwich line includes an all-beef cheeseburger with ketchup and mustard and the Southern-style chicken breast filet sandwich, both served on hearth-baked rolls. The handmade sandwiches feature premium, restaurant-quality chopped beef steaks and breaded chicken breasts. The deli-style package includes tamper-evident seals, provides durable sandwich protection, is fully microwaveable and serves as a plate for the consumer. 

In other not-so-kid-friendly newsbeer-infused entrées
Performance Foodservice, Richmond, Va., collaborated with Diageo, the producer of GUINNESS beer, to launch Guinness Bold Entrées, an exclusiveline of beer-infused modern foods.Guinness Bold Entrées include Braised Corn Beef, Braised Beef Chili with Beans, Braised Pot Roast, Braised St. Louis Ribs, Braised Tri Tip and a Sample Assortment Kit that is fully cooked in sous-vide manner and easily prepared in-house without a trained chef.


To learn more about these and other new foodservice meals and entrées, go to

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