Seizing on consumer demand for frozen meals in North America, Boise, Idaho-headquartered Albertsons Companies has revamped its lineup of private label entrees with 55 new items ranging from organic plant-based meals to premium high-protein power bowls and more.
“We’re in a new age for frozen meals,” said Chad Coester, the supermarket chain’s senior vice president in charge of own brands. “Shoppers deserve premium meals that deliver on dietary needs and indulgence. We’ve reimagined our frozen meal lineup with new formats to deliver on quality first. Flat out, this is delicious food.”
Plant-based meal alternatives are a $4.5 billion industry in the United States, racking up a 31% growth rate since 2017. In addition, 39% of the general population reportedly wants to eat more vegetables and 29% identify as “flexitarian,” meaning they pursue a plant-based diet while occasionally eating meat.
In partnership with the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), Albertsons’ Own Brands team introduced new plant-based frozen bowls and plant-based meatless proteins, all of which are certified USDA-certified organic and contain the PBFA’s “Certified Plant Based” seal.
“It’s exciting to work with Albertsons in bringing the first products to market that are both USDA-certified organic and Certified Plant Based,” said PBFA Senior Director of Retail Partnerships Julie Emmett.
Each of the O Organics bowls deliver more than 11 grams of protein, and the plant-based burgers, patties, and crumbles are made with soy, pea, and/or garbanzo beans. Here’s the lineup:
- Edamame teriyaki vegetable rice bowl
- Black bean & quinoa bowl
- Three bean chili & kale bowl
- Chickpea curry & spinach rice bowl
- Plant-based power burger
- Plant-based breakfast patties
- Plant-based crumbles
Signature Select Premium Bowls
Coinciding with the major expansion of Signature Select this year, the brand now carries an elevated line of premium frozen bowls that include protein power bowls, global cuisine, and a twist on traditional favorites. The power bowls range from 280 to 400 calories, all delivering more than 20 grams of protein with limited carbohydrates. Here’s the extensive selection:
- Mixed greens chicken and quinoa power bowl
- Cuban inspired pork with mojo sauce power bowl
- Beef and broccoli power bowl
- Mediterranean-style chicken power bowl
- Beef bulgogi rice bowl
- Japchae with shiitake mushrooms bowl
- Korean-style fried chicken rice bowl
- Chicken shoyu ramen noodle bowl
- Mac & cheese bowl
- Lasagna bowl
- Enchilada bowl
- Stuffed shells bowl
The Signature Select lineup includes recipes created by New York City-based chef Suji Park, an international restaurateur who opened her first restaurant in South Korea nearly 15 years ago. Her New York-style brunch concept became a hit among celebrities and tastemakers in Seoul. She spent a decade building her reputation in Asia with an award-winning restaurant group in Korea and Japan and four successful retail lines that specialized in cross-cultural cuisine.
For this partnership with Albertsons Companies, Park formulated the bowls with clean ingredients that mirror how food is prepared in her restaurant, such as using pear as the sweetener in the beef bulgogi rice bowl.
Breakfast Sandwiches and More
The own brands team expanded Albertson’s line of successful Signature Select breakfast sandwiches with six new coffee house-inspired varieties with on-the-go meal appeal, as follows:
- Chicken apple sausage and egg croissant sandwich
- Chorizo, egg, and cheese jalapeno-biscuit sandwich
- Waffle, egg, and bacon sandwich
- English muffin, Canadian bacon, egg white, and cheese sandwich
- French toast, ham, and egg sandwich
- Pancake, sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich
O Organics is making its first entry into frozen breakfast solutions with two sausage products in resealable pouches – Chicken & Maple Sausage and Chicken & Sage Sausage – and high-protein breakfast bowls. The Bowls boast four varieties:
- Chicken sausage with bell peppers scramble bowl
- Eggs, chicken sausage, and ham scramble bowl
- Egg whites, spinach, and chicken sausage scramble bowl
- Huevos rancheros, beans, and egg scramble bowl
On-trend Cauliflower Innovations
Albertsons’ private label program continues to meet growing consumer demand for cauliflower-based dishes, with new side dishes like cauliflower cheese bake (a twist on mac and cheese) and mashed cauliflower with garlic and chives (a spin on mashed potatoes). Each one-cup serving is under 130 calories.
Open Nature also added to its successful line of cauliflower crust frozen pizzas with an uncured pepperoni variety.
The 55 new frozen SKUs are available exclusively in Albertsons Companies stores. The popular lineup of Own Brands products includes four billion-dollar brands: O Organics, Lucerne, Signature Select and Signature Cafe. Own Brands introduced 1,100 new items in FY 2018 and now has more than 11,000 value-for-money products in its portfolio.
Ranked as one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States, Albertsons operates stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners including Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs, as well as a New York City-based meal kit company called Plated.