Foodservice Menu Trends: Rotisserie Chicken, Fresh Veggies

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Foodservice Menu Trends: Rotisserie Chicken, Fresh Veggies

By Bob Ingram - 05/27/2010
As consumers continue to rediscover their love of casual food classics -- think savory sandwiches, crispy pizzas and hearty burgers – suppliers are coming to the party with innovative products and savvy solutions to help grocers deliver homemade appeal and generate higher rings.

Tyson Rotisserie Bakes is among the very latest lines designed specifically for deli operators to increase their margins and control shrink by assembling second meals with their excess cooked rotisserie chicken. Once assembled, grocers have the ultimate flexibility to either bake the meals to sell hot, or package them for cold grab-and-go convenience.

“With the meal sauces, mix-ins, and toppers pre-portioned in the case, Tyson Rotisserie Bakes are simple to make with portion control built into the product strategy,” says Eric Le Blanc, senior director of the Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Deli Marketing.

“Tyson Rotisserie Bakes were developed to fulfill consumers’ need for fresh, home-style meals that are ready to go,” adds LeBlanc, noting the solution “demonstrates our commitment to our retail partners by delivering solid business solutions that help improve their bottom line.”

Created to appeal to consumers’ love of comfort food and convenience, the sauce bases for the baked entrées come in three tasty flavors: Classic Pot Pie Chicken Bake, Creamy Enchilada Chicken Bake, and Bacon Alfredo Chicken Bake. Each meal features hand-pulled rotisserie chicken, along with on-trend restaurant-quality sauces and ingredients, that LeBlanc says enables operators to capitalize on the opportunities that abound in supermarket fresh meals programs.

While progressive grocers are also seeking ways to incorporate more fresh produce on their convenient meal menus, execs from Gilroy Foods at presstime were gearing up to showcase how functional -- and irresistible -- fresh vegetables can be for deli/foodservice applications at the upcoming IDDBA show in Houston.
The headline item of Gilroy Foods’ current focus is spinach, which is part of its wide range of Controlled Moisture (CM) Kitchen Cuts value-added specialty vegetable line, offers flavor systems and seasoning blends to help create innovative, healthy menu items.

Offering operators an opportunity to replicate preparation methods like sautéing and caramelizing, executives from Gilroy say their ready-to-eat Kitchen Cuts line of seasoned and flavored vegetables bring value and ease of performance to every application by eliminating food safety concerns and reducing preparation time.

Unlike IQF, Gilroy’s CM spinach is ready-to-eat with a validated kill step, so there’s no need to thaw, heat, or remove water before using, which not only helps save time, but also money. With far less water than IQF, CM spinach also offers excellent performance and value with each serving. Ready to use straight from frozen, the no-clump format further enables operators to use just what they need with no waste.

A division of Omaha-based ConAgra Foods, Inc., Gilroy Foods’ broad range of value-added veggies, flavor systems and seasoning blends are providing retailers with new ideas to create fresh, healthy, great tasting menu offerings.

For more information and recipe ideas, visit