Produce sales in the U.S. have grown by nearly 20 percent over the past two years, with lettuce and potatoes making up nearly 40 percent 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.”
Suggested retail price is $2.99-3.69.