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Meal Kits Inspire New Strategy at Hy-Vee

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — The new wave of meal kits designed to complement fresh proteins and vegetables, present an incremental sales opportunity for retailers willing to experiment with merchandising and promotion, said Brett Bremser, vice president of Center Store for Hy-Vee, Thursday during the SN webinar “Reinventing the Meal: New Insights on Dinner Planning.”

“These products represent a relatively new category so we have to work hard to get consumers to see the convenience and try the products,” said Bremser. “That means getting them shelved in the right place.”


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For Hy-Vee, it requires establishing a dedicated section for meal solutions, and cross-merchandising shelf-stable meal kits like Kraft Recipe Makers for New England Pot Roast, alongside fresh meal components like the beef chuck roast, red potatoes, baby carrots, and onions it calls for.

“We have to be sure we’re shelving these new offerings altogether, rather than by brand family,” said Bremser during the Kraft Recipe Makers-sponsored event. “And having multiple touch points, like in the protein section for instance, will help customers understand they need to add meat to the product.”

Hy-Vee is underscoring that message by featuring Kraft Recipe Makers in its weekly ad circular with a coupon for $1.50 off fresh meat.

“It plants the seed and stimulates trial,” Bremser said.

Kraft developed the Kraft Recipe Makers line to appeal to busy moms that value freshness but don’t have time for scratch cooking. Each of the nine SKUs includes a meal idea and two sauces to bring it to life. The addition of a protein, starch and/or vegetable, that is either regularly on hand or easy to find in the store, is also necessary, said Risa Schwartz, associate director of consumer insights and strategy innovation for Kraft Foods Group.

“These provide a unique cooking experience and a quicker way to get a homemade meal,” said Schwartz.

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