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Building Better Picnics

It’s high picnic season, so it’s not surprising that foodservice segments are promoting boxed meal specials to enjoy al fresco. Pizza Hut, for example, has a $20 Triple Treat Box: Summer Edition that includes pizzas, breadsticks and a cookie, described as “a perfect combination for a summer picnic.” And multinational fast-food chain KFC has introduced a unique 5-in-1 Meal Box, now in early testing in India. It contains not just chicken but also a power source mounted in the box, so no picnic goes without a charged phone.  

Mendocino Farms wants to be this summer’s “Picnic Pal” for consumers in its Southern California markets. A recent email message from the brand read: “Sandwiches are possibly the world’s most portable food, and our to-go salads are a close second” to enjoy outside. True Food Kitchen encourages fans to take a photo of their favorite summer dishes from True Food Kitchen and tag #TrueFoodKitchen for a chance to win a Summer Picnic Prize Pack including a $100 gift card to True Food Kitchen, plus a picnic basket, an outdoor dining set and a park blanket.

Grocerants can get in on the al fresco action too, promoting the prepared food section as the place to find the best picnic basket fillings. At Texas-based Central Market, zero-prep dinner for two is always available, and the first day of spring was celebrated with a Breaded Chicken Picnic special served with Tomato Mozzarella Salad and Israeli Couscous with Sun-Dried Tomatoes. A post on Cooking School blog for California-based Draeger’s Market guided readers on how to put together a picnic sandwich loaf with prepared food ingredients, marinated vegetables from the olive bar, deli meats and fresh baked ciabatta.

Grocerant-Ready Ideas:
•    Pre-ordering for cooler-packed picnic meals and curbside pickup
•    Beer tastings to pair the best brews and grilled meats
•    Frequent buying incentives for weekly picnic specials

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