- Giant Food has adopted the Cook-in-Bag private label line that includes 14 oven- and slower cooker-ready meals, the Mid-Atlantic grocer announced Monday.
- The line has pre-seasoned or marinated seafood and meat options, including Asian teriyaki chicken breasts, Jamaican jerk roast, Chesapeake Bay-style shrimp and bourbon salmon. Cooking times vary by item, but all are done within an hour, according to the press release.
- The prepared meal line, which launched at sister chain The Giant Company last summer, is the latest example of grocers appealing to customers who want culinary inspiration at home but need a leg up in the kitchen.
As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues on, Giant Food's Cook-in-Bag extension offers the financial benefit of a private label offering as the chain, along with its shoppers, looks for new ways “to spice up family mealtime without the mess and prep work,” according to the announcement.
In recent months, grocers have been rolling out options to make meal planning and prep easier for consumers. Kroger partnered with Whisk on shoppable recipes and unveiled an artificial intelligence-based digital tool for recipe inspiration. In the fall, Albertsons added an online service letting shoppers make shoppable grocery lists based on meal recommendations.
The Cook-in-Bag offering comes at a time when grocers are facing increasing competition from meal kit companies for consumers looking for ready-to-eat or ready-to-assemble meals. For an industry known for slim margins, private label offerings offer an attractive option to potentially boost profits and increase brand loyalty.
The Cook-in-Bag line joins Giant Food’s line-up of private label brands, including Nature’s Promise, Taste of Inspirations, Smart Living and Artie Wines.
After months of eating most meals at home, some shoppers say they're getting tired of planning, prepping and cleaning in the kitchen. Grocers are trying to simplify meal solutions to keep interest high, but it’s unclear still what will happen when people return to restaurants and bars and resume life outside of their households.
Tory Gundelach, senior vice president of retail insights with Kantar Consulting, previously told Grocery Dive that grocers are advised to target both at-home cooking solutions and prepared meals, saying shoppers who cooked during the pandemic are likely to continue. Gundelach recommended that grocers invest in innovative merchandising, offer more food inspiration, sell meal kits and roll out more breakfast options.