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Kroger expands quick-prep meals program

Concept now include self-service seafood entrees

Just in time for next week’s start of Lent, The Kroger Co. has expanded its Easy for You! quick-prep seafood line and added a self-service feature.

According to reports, the updated concept recently debuted at a Kroger Marketplace store in its hometown of Cincinnati. In the latest expansion of the Easy For You! concept, Kroger is merchandising a selection of seafood items in a large self-service case near the service seafood counter, including salmon ravioli and a variety of shrimp items such as shrimp scampi, Thai green curry shrimp, shrimp and sausage roll, shrimp tikka masala and creamy pesto shrimp.

Shoppers simply select how much they want, along with side items, and scoop it into a disposable bowl. Items are priced by weight. When the customers take the bowls home, they simply empty the contents into a skillet, cover it and heat for eight to 12 minutes.

This initiative serves as an extension of the Easy For You! Oven-Ready Seafood program that, according to its website, Kroger offers chainwide through its various banners.

In this program, at the service seafood counter shoppers select a protein (catfish, cod, crab, salmon, trout or tilapia) along with a variety of seasonings (lemon pepper, Cajun, rosemary garlic, Sweet Bourbon, California Garlic Medley, Asian BBQ, Spicy Orange Chipotle, Sesame Ginger, Jamaican Jerk Rub, Nashville Hot and/or butter) and garnishes (fresh dill, fresh cilantro, fresh thyme and lemon).

The seafood associate then seals the selected items in a special ovenable bag that the shopper pierces on each side with a fork, places on a baking sheet and bakes for the specified time.

Designed to increase seafood consumption and drive seafood sales from white-tablecloth restaurants back to the supermarket, Kroger offers the program at no additional charge. For landlubbers not too familiar with seafood, Kroger offers brochures on the program at its seafood department and has a video (shown above) on its website showing how it works. There is also a chart suggesting seasonings and garnishes for each of the proteins, along with suggested side dishes and wine pairings.

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