Premium frozen foods are an important part of a private label expansion move byMeijer. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer said it is expanding its four-year-old Meijer Gold brand with 80 new offerings that Meijer says are "made by a local company within the Meijer footprint, or by a family-owned business. The line also features interesting foods endemic to a particular place or country."

"Meijer customers have great taste, and it's our job to keep providing them with great-tasting food items," said Ralph Fischer, group vice president-foods at Meijer. "But we also want to offer them products that they won't find anywhere else, and that's exactly what Meijer Gold offers. We've traveled the globe and looked in small towns to source premium products that have a distinctive history, heritage or story."

Meijer officials said 16 new Meijer Gold products are frozen. There are six filled pastas including ravioli and tortellini; six appetizers including crab puff pastries and mini quiche; and four cheesecakes including cherry and vanilla bean.

Meijer said each item in the new line "has a tale to tell." For instance, the brand's mustard is prepared from an age-old German recipe by a long-time Midwest company; the salsa is created by an acclaimed family-owned Southern California producer; and the cream pasta sauces are sourced from the legendary Chicago restaurateurs, the Mugnolo family.

Originally launched in 2005, Meijer Gold first served to provide a premium version of everyday items, officials said. They said the company's new approach to Meijer Gold brand is "a result of Meijer's desire to deepen its commitment and connection to regionally sourced foods, family-run businesses, and authentic and distinctive recipes."

Meijer operates 190 supercenters in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.