9 Products to Help Build Fresh and Prepared Programs

The word "fresh" means different things to different people. Fresh can mean healthy grab-and-go and prepared meals. It can also mean fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. It can mean the ingredients in a home-cooked meal. To the c-store customer, it can generally mean making the foodservice counter a hub of activity—and there is no shortage of new and intriguing "fresh" and prepared options to help fill this growing need.

Volume sales grew 1.7% for fresh meat, 1.9% for produce and 4% for deli-prepared foods for the year ending Feb. 25, 2017, while packaged items fell 0.4% during the same period, according to Nielsen. Volume sales of packaged food and goods fell 2.4% during first-quarter 2017.

Navigate through to examine nine such products making inroads at the retail level.

Bush's Chili Starter

Bush’s Best Chili Starter contains pinto beans simmered in a savory chili sauce that is made with chilies, spices, garlic and onion. By mixing with tomatoes and meat, the starter can be a foundation for chili-based dishes such as nachos and chili mac and cheese.

Go Veggie

Expanding on its line of cheese-alternative products, Go Veggie has launched Vegan Soy Free Grated Parmesan, which is made with coconut and is undergoing Non-GMO Project verification. At 20 calories per serving, the product does not contain dairy, cholesterol, lactose, soy or gluten. A 4-ounce shaker is available for an SRP of $4.99.


Certified Angus Beef brand Natural deli meats

Certified Angus Beef brand Natural deli meats are free from MSG, the top eight allergens, gluten, binders, fillers and added water. The deli-meat line includes top round roast beef, top round Italian roast beef, oven-roasted corned beef, hardwood-smoked pastrami, hardwood-smoked tri-tip and hardwood-smoked brisket.  

Del Monte Smoothie Kit

The Del Monte Smoothie Kit product line (Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc.) is available in a variety of sizes: four healthy mixtures, including Antioxidant, Super Fruit, Energizer and “C” Your Vitamins. Del Monte Smoothie Kits are 100% fresh, healthy and convenient, because the item comes in a portable on-the-go cup. The kits are 100% preservative-free and are merchandised in the refrigerated produce section. 


In time for summer, Monin has launched two new fruit puree flavors: Blood Orange and Blueberry. Blood Orange Fruit Puree delivers authentic sweet and tart citrus taste with the fruit’s signature bright red color. Blueberry Fruit Puree is delicately sweet and subtly tart, boasting fresh blueberry flavor. The newest additions to Monin’s fruit puree line add flavor to iced teas, lemonades or cocktails, with no muddling necessary, according to the company.  

All Natural Uncured Dry Aged Naturally Cherrywood Smoked Bacon

Jones Dairy Farm has added All Natural Uncured Dry Aged Naturally Cherrywood Smoked Bacon to its extensive foodservice offerings. The all-natural and uncured bacon contains no artificial preservatives as well as no added nitrates, nitrites or MSG. Grill-ready and certified gluten-free, Jones' new All Natural Uncured Dry Aged Naturally Cherrywood Smoked Bacon is available in a 15-pound case and yields 14 to 18 slices per pound. 

Great American Comfort Classics

Introducing Great American Comfort Classics (American Foods Group LLC), the fully cooked all-natural beef is available in convenient single-serve portions, and in four varieties: Salisbury Steak, Meatloaf, BBQ Meatballs and Teriyaki Meatballs. With a 28-day refrigerated shelf life and packed with more than 20 grams of protein, the varieties combine beef with ingredients such as fresh diced onions, slivered peppers, fresh egg whites, gourmet cracker crumbs and diced Walla Walla sweet onions.


Fresh-cut and fresh whole, pre-ripened mango are two forms of mango cited most often for generating a sales increase, according to the National Mango Board. Distributors are working to meet restaurant specifications, providing dices, cubes, spears and fresh mango cheeks, as well as pre-ripened whole mango. With American consumers driving the trend toward fresh ingredients and creative menus, operators can garner information about fresh mango sourcing, handling and usage ideas at the association’s website, www.mango.org.

Authentically Crafted Exceptional Meats

New Tyson and Hillshire Farm Authentically Crafted Exceptional Meats is a multiprotein portfolio of all-natural products featuring quality ingredients. Varieties include Hillshire Farm All Natural Rough Cut Beef, Hillshire Farm All Natural Rough Cut Pork, Tyson All Natural Rough Cut White Meat Chicken, Tyson All Natural Rough Cut Natural Proportion Chicken, Hillshire Farm All Natural Saute Style Beef and Hillshire Farm All Natural Saute Style Pork Breakfast Sausage.