Chef-inspired Finishers feature natural cheeses, premium toppings and full customization

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Produce sales in the U.S. have grown by nearly 20% over the past two years, with lettuce and potatoes making up nearly 40% of yearly vegetable sales. More Americans are viewing vegetables as a meal core, rather than simply a side dish. In response to this rapid growth and revised thinking, Sargento, Plymouth, Wis., introduces Salad Finishers and Potato Finishers — chef-inspired blends of Sargento natural cheeses and other premium toppings.

The move into the produce category is a first for Sargento and is likely to be well received by at-home chefs who are eager for new flavors and new meal ideas. The ingredients are packaged individually for customization.

Varieties of Sargento Salad Finishers include: Cheddar Chicken (grilled chicken, cheddar cheese and seasoned croutons); Cheddar Bacon (bacon crumbles, cheddar cheese and ranch croutons); Chicken Caesar (grilled chicken, parmesan cheese and caesar croutons; Bistro Chicken (grilled chicken, mozzarella, sun-dried tomato, basil and toasted almonds); and Cranberry Pecan (mozzarella and asiago cheeses, dried cranberries and toasted pecans).

Sargento Potato Finishers include: All American (white cheddar sauce with chives, cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles); Au Gratin (cheddar sauce, Monterey Jack cheese and onion-seasoned breadcrumbs); and Cheddar Broccoli (cheddar broccoli sauce, Monterey Jack cheese and bacon crumbles).

“The consumer desire for customization was a key factor in the development of our Salad and Potato Finishers,” says Chip Schuman, vice president of marketing — consumer products division. “Vegetables, especially lettuce and potatoes, provide the perfect blank slate for culinary enthusiasts to give their dishes a personal touch. We’re excited to provide quality ingredients to make that happen.”

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