- PRODUCT INNOVATION: Healthy Choice steaming entrees.
- SHOPPER INSIGHTS: Consumer behavior research.
- CATEGORY MANAGEMENT: Packaging that's 25% more space-efficient.
A BIG BENEFIT of having ConAgra as a partner is its breadth of offerings, said Barbara Oberhammer, grocery procurement manager at Unified Grocers, Los Angeles.
“Its items are some of the most popular brands around, and are found in close to 96% of households,” she said.
Whether it's organic items or low-salt alternatives ConAgra has its finger on the pulse of consumer trends, matching introductions with consumer-targeted promotional vehicles, said Oberhammer.
When it comes to frozen foods, ConAgra relies on consumer insights from product development to shelf placement, noted Doug Knudsen, president of ConAgra Foods Sales.
Such insights prompted it to extend its Marie Callender's brand into premium, multi-serve homestyle meals in varieties like Vermont White Cheddar Mac and Cheese, and Creamy Chicken Alfredo With Sundried Tomatoes.
“Marie Callender's continues innovating in the premium frozen category,” said Knudsen.
The Marie Callender's meals follow other innovations this year, like Healthy Choice steaming entrees. The product was developed based on consumer research that shows a desire for fewer, fresher-tasting ingredients.
In other areas, ConAgra packaging is 25% more space-efficient on shelf.
COMPANY TO WATCH
NESTLÉ USA: It's not easy for frozen pizza to compete with delivery. But Nestlé's DiGiorno brand found a way to do just that with its new DiGiorno Pizza & Breadsticks. The combo comes in such flavors as supreme pizza with Garlic & Herb Breadsticks and Marinara Dipping Sauce, and Pepperoni Pizza with Cheesy Breadsticks and Marinara Dipping Sauce. Separately, the company has a “Shared Value” initiative in place that helps communities generate economic vitality.