ConAgra offers new frozen meals, Manwich product

by Bryan Salvage
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OMAHA, Neb. – ConAgra Foods Inc. has introduced six new varieties of Banquet frozen entrées and Manwich Thick & Chunky, the first new flavor of Manwich sloppy joe sauce in nearly 10 years.

“With the lingering effects of the recession, many shoppers are turning to canned and frozen products, which can offer both cost savings and convenience for those who are cooking and eating at home more,” said Phil Lempert, Supermarket Guru and spokesperson for ConAgra Foods. “For an average retail price of $1 and under per serving, the new frozen entrées from Banquet and Manwich Thick & Chunky variety deliver value-priced meals that are also great tasting and wholesome.”

ConAgra Foods sells more than 3 million packages of frozen food products each day with brands such as Banquet, Healthy Choice and Marie Callender’s. Banquet is ConAgra Foods’ largest consumer brand with more than $1 billion in annual net sales. With an average retail price of $2.50 for six servings, the Banquet Family Size entrées product line has expanded from four varieties to seven with new items including Zesty Marinara Sauce over Meatballs, Cheesy Smothered Charbroiled Patties, and Chicken Marinara. New Single Serve entrées, with an average retail price of $1, include Cheesy Macaroni & Beef, Spaghetti & Popcorn Chicken and Honey Mustard Chicken.

“The majority of Banquet consumers enjoy our entrées for dinner at home so they’re looking for a balanced meal that includes meat,” said Christiane Brocky, brand director, ConAgra Foods. “We’ve also added kid-favorite meals such as Cheesy Macaroni & Beef and Spaghetti & Popcorn Chicken to appeal more to the whole family.”

Manwich Thick & Chunky, with an average retail price of $1.50 for a 15-ounce can, has the same spices and seasoning as Original Manwich with a thicker sauce and more chunks of sweet onions and bell peppers. All three Manwich varieties – Thick & Chunky, Original and Bold – contain a full serving of vegetables, making it easier for consumers to get their recommended five servings of vegetables and fruit each day, the company said.

“It’s a sloppy joe that’s a bit less sloppy because of the thicker sauce,” said Sandra Williams, brand director, ConAgra Foods. “And with the bigger chunks of vegetables, which are more visible in the sauce, moms feel confident that Manwich is a wholesome family meal for a great value.”

Since 2007, the sloppy joe category has grown from $89 million to $96 million with Manwich growing 7% in dollar sales during this period. Currently, the brand has 83% dollar share in the category.
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