A global challenge for many of today’s consumers is how to feed their families the healthiest meals in less time. Thankfully, frozen meals and entrées manufacturers heeded the call by offering a host of better-for-you, ready-to-prepare foods.
The global frozen food market is expected to be worth $293.75 billion by 2019, according to a study conducted and produced by Transparency Market Research, Albany, N.Y. The report, titled “Frozen Food Market (Vegetables & Fruits, Potatoes, Ready-to-eat Meals, Meat, Fish/Seafood and Soups) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 - 2019,” states that the frozen food market was valued at $224.74 billion in 2012, and will register a CAGR of 3.9% between 2013 and 2019. The report analyzes the frozen food market by product—frozen fruit and vegetables, frozen fish and seafood, frozen potatoes, frozen meat, frozen ready meals and frozen soup.
Within this segmentation, the frozen ready meals market is seen as the dominant one, mainly because it comprises an extensive range of frozen products such as pizza, snacks, desserts, entrées and more. Here’s a breakdown of new meals and entrées created with health-conscious, on-the-go consumers in mind.
Better-for-you pizza alternatives. Champion Foods, New Boston, Mich., partnered with New York Times best-selling author Lisa Lillien to launch the Hungry Girl brand of individual better-for-you frozen pizzas. Each pizza is individually packaged for portion control, packed with protein, enriched with fiber and features a crispy sprouted-grain crust and an Italian five-cheese blend. It comes in Cheese and Pepperoni.
Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., Denver, Colo., launched a line of premium, low-carb frozen pizzas, with only 350-410 calories and 11 grams of net carbs per serving. They come in Pepperoni, Cheese, Three Meat and Vegetable kinds.
American Flatbread Pizza, Pittsfield, N.H., introduced three new pizza SKUs to its premium line of gluten-free flatbread pizzas—Gluten-Free Cheese Trio & Tomato Sauce, Gluten-Free Pesto & Cheese and Fresh Basil Pesto & Feta.
Artisan salami maker Columbus Foods, Hayward, Calif., launched a team of fresh pizzas topped with premium specialty meats and cheeses. Made with RBST-free cheeses, vine-ripened California tomatoes and uncured meats, the Pizza Naturale line adheres to the brand’s commitment in using only the highest-quality ingredients, taking extra time to hand-craft and slow-cook and keeping recipes wholesome with no fillers or additives. The 12-inch pizzas come in Four Cheese, Uncured Pepperoni and Uncured Piccante Salame & Sausage.
Better For You Foods, Delray Beach, Fla., launched what is said to be the first line of gluten-free pizza made with sprouted ancient grains. Sold under the Better4U brand, this line of frozen pizzas is made with four sprouted gluten-free grains—quinoa, flax, millet and chia—and comes in Four Cheese, Uncured Pepperoni and Mediterranean varieties.
Those with a gluten intolerance can now bring pizza back into their diets thanks to a new flourless, cauliflower crust, gluten-free pizza from Absolutely Gluten Free, Bayonne, N.J., available with Mozzarella cheese or non-dairy Mozzarella Style cheese toppings.
Authentic flavors. Suji’s Korean Cuisine, Omaha, Neb., launched new ready-to-heat ethnic dishes, available in refrigerated and frozen formats. These all-natural, gluten-free meals come in Savory Beef Bulgogi, Pork Bulgogi, Beef Bibimbap Rice Bowl and Kimchi & Pork Bulgogi Rice Bowl and Pork Dumplings and Beef Dumplings.
House Foods, Garden Gove, Calif., introduced Garlic Stir Fry, a new addition to its Woke Me Up collection of authentic Asian-inspired refrigerated foods. Garlic Stir Fry combines tofu and sauce in one convenient package, and includes cubed firm tofu and garlic sauce.
Day Lee Foods, Inc., Santa Fe Springs, Calif., expanded its Crazy Cuizine brand with a new line of frozen Asian entrées called Crazy Cuizine International Favorites, each featuring a vegetable, rice or noodle component. Available in Beijing Broccoli Beef (Chinese), Chicken Tikka Masala & Rice (Indian/Southwest Asian) and Garlic Chicken & Noodles (Chinese/Vietnamese) varieties, this new line boasts steamed chicken, lightly breaded beef and lighter sauces, and can be served as a complete meal.
Kahiki Foods, Inc., Columbus, Ohio, introduced what is said to be the frozen Asian category’s first steam-in-bag meals, available in Chicken Lo Mein and Chicken Fried Rice. This product placed No. 3 in this year’s Reader's Choice Best New Retail Products contest.
Mexican foods go gluten free. StarLite Cuisine expanded its line of vegan, non-GMO, non-dairy, trans-fat-free and cholesterol-free frozen enchiladas, taquitos and tacos. New Enchiladas Rojas feature two large gluten-free enchiladas filled with pea protein, bell peppers, black beans, traditional red sauce and the company’s proprietary vegan cheese, while the Enchiladas Verdes kind includes pea protein, bell peppers, corn, a tangy tomatillo sauce and vegan cheese. Other kinds include Enchiladas de Queso with all-natural corn tortillas filled with creamy pinto beans and vegan cheese topped with red sauce, and Enchiladas Suizas featuring pea protein, red and green bell peppers, non-dairy cream sauce and vegan cheese. Vegan Taquitos—what are said to be the only vegan and gluten-free taquitos available for retail in North America—come in Beef Style, Chicken Style and Chorizo & Black Bean Style, all featuring eight hand-rolled corn tortillas with soy protein and authentic spices. The Crispy Rolled Tacos come in Santa Fe Chicken Style and Chipotle Chicken Style, both containing six hand-rolled flour tortillas with soy protein, chopped veggies and authentic spices.
CedarLane Natural Foods launched an all-natural, gluten-free line of frozen vegetarian tamales that come in Chile & Cheese, Roasted Vegetable, Spinach & Feta Cheese and Sweet Corn varieties.
Handhelds. Canada-based gardein introduced new pocket meals, ready in minutes and available in Crispy Chick’n, Italian Meat-Free Sausage and BBQ Pulled Porkless Shreds.
Garden Lites, Jamaica, N.Y., debuted a Cheddar Broccoli Bake, a nutritious dish chock full of broccoli, brown rice, select spices and topped off with cheddar cheese. This product placed second in this year’s New Retail Products contest, page 12.
Milford Valley, Milford, Ind., developed new stuffed chicken minis for its retail chicken product line. These ready-to-cook products are a miniature version of the company’s chicken entrées that feature raw, breaded chicken breast meat stuffed with fillings. The stuffed minis come in Cordon Swiss (filled with ham and cheese), Buffalo Style (filled with seasoned cream cheese) and Jalapeño (filled with spicy cream cheese).
Table for one. Beaver Street Fisheries Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., expanded its Sea Best brand to include Signature Singles, a line of sophisticated, chef-inspired, single-serve seafood entrées.
LIFESTYLE FOODS, York, Pa., revamped its line of healthy grab-and-go sandwiches to include new Buffalo Grilled Chicken, Caesar Grilled Chicken, Malibu Turkey Avocado, New England Cranberry Turkey, Tuscan Ham with Tomato Pesto, Classic Ham and Cheese and Sedona Vegetarian Chick’n sandwiches. Each sandwich comes on grain-topped thin whole wheat ciabatta bread and is paired with premium dressings such as Sundried Tomato Pesto, Buffalo Ranch, Avocado spread and more.
Fuji Food Products, Inc., a Santa Fe Springs, Calif.-based division of Meruelo Group, launched its savory Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon Bowl under the Okami brand. The fresh, fully cooked Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon Bowl contains green beans, savory miso ginger glaze with rice and wheat berry, offering a good source of omega-3 and ready in 2-2.5 minutes
Layering concept. Sandridge Food Corp., Medina, Ohio, launched a new line of freshly prepared entrées that feature a “new-to-market” layering concept. The Layered Selections line is produced in small batches using a strategic and proprietary layering technique that preserves the integrity of the individual ingredients until the consumer is ready to use. The line includes Grilled White Chicken Pasta Alfredo, Southern Style Three Bean Salad, Cheesy Mac & Cheese, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Mediterranean Style Pasta Salad and Black Eyed Pea Salad.
Chef-crafted. Three Bridges, Benicia, Calif., modernized mealtime with its new refrigerated line of chef-crafted pastas, sauces and meals, which can be prepared in just five minutes. Offerings include Chicken with Yellow Rice, Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, Chicken Paella with Chorizo & Roasted Red Peppers, Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Sausage and Jalapeño Mac & Cheese and Sausage & Basil Lasagna with Zucchini & Mozzarella Cheese.
Sauces ‘n Love, Lynn, Mass., developed a line of refrigerated gluten-free pasta, available in Tagliatelle, Rigatoni and Gnocchi.
To learn more about these and other new retail meals and entrées, go here.