Dole doubles down on value added segment with meal kit
Dole looks to capitalize on growing interest in home cooked meals and its brand association the salad kits with a new meal starter targeting consumers looking for pan meals.
The company said in a statement that based on Google search data, there has been a 500% increase in searches for “sheet pan dinners” since 2016, and has developed an offer to target this trend with three separate offerings.
There are currently more than 137 million results for "sheet pan dinners" on Google, consisting of primarily preparation techniques and recipes, including over 5,800 sheet pan meal options on Allrecipes.com alone.
"Dole strives to always be at the forefront of food and culinary trends that can drive product innovation and exploration in the kitchen," said Dole Food Company Senior Director of Product Innovation Shannon Yamada.
"Our new Sheet Pan Meal Starter Kits are the culmination of considerable research and trend analysis and allow us to deliver on exactly what consumers are looking for – great-tasting, convenient, one-pan healthy meal solutions. In addition to farm fresh DOLE vegetables, consumers may add their favorite protein along with the delicious seasoning to easily create a personalized one-pan masterpiece for the family," the executive added.
These 3 new products join 60 other Dole salad kits, salad mixes and slaws including the popular Chopped! and Premium salad kit lines and 15 ready-to-eat bowl salads, for a total of 78 product offerings.
On its most recent earnings call in March 2022, the company’s COO Johan Lindén said that it is working to mitigate the impact of two voluntary recalls in 2021 which led to closures of value added production facilities, delays in price increases and extra costs.
Despite the recalls, he said the company was able to recover its margins later in the year, and despite this challenging operating environment, “we were able to adapt to specific pressures that emerge and maintain our expected margins over the course of the year. We expect the diversified business to evolve in a similar way in 2022”.