What do you do when consumers won’t go out to eat? You bring the restaurant to their kitchens. Actually, Pittsburgh’s H.J. Heinz Co. is the one putting the T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant meal experience in the freezercase.
February saw Heinz launch five T.G.I. Friday’s Complete Skillet Meals. Each variety is ready to eat in 15 minutes, the company says. Varieties include Cajun-Style Alfredo Chicken & Shrimp, Firecracker Sesame Chicken, Creamy Chicken Carbonara, Sizzling Steak Fajitas and Sizzling Chicken Fajitas.
“Consumers want to break out of their everyday dinner routine and are hungry for great-tasting, restaurant quality meals they can easily prepare at home,” said Erica Gilbertson, the T.G.I. Friday’s brand manager for Heinz. “With Skillet Meals, consumers can eat bold, not bland. It’s the taste and experience you don’t expect from a frozen meal.”
With three serving each, these 24-ounce entrees come packaged with protein, vegetables, sauce, pasta or tortillas and a topping. Suggested retail is $6.99 to $7.99.
Heinz says more than seven months of work with Chicago-based Alcan Packaging led to the line’s Doyne-style, stand-up pouch.
“We have a package that is appealing to consumers and promises bold, exciting, restaurant-inspired flavors inside,” says Rick Parysek, a Heinz packaging engineer. “The Skillet Meals pouch performance will play an important role in bringing the Friday’s experience to the dinner table.”
Officials say reverse-printed rotogravure graphics showcase the vivid Friday’s look and help grab consumers’ attention in the freezercase. Internal bags separate individual ingredients, helping to preserve flavor and texture. Individual packaging also streamlines at-home meal prep by allowing meal components to be staged.