Today’s consumers increasingly demand convenient, easy-to-prepare fresh food options — but they’re not willing to sacrifice quality.
That may explain the huge growth in sous vide products, which have no trouble meeting both of those needs.
A new player in the grocery perimeter, Stockton, Calif.-based Kevin’s Natural Foods, reports excellent demand thus far for its heat-and-eat and other sous vide products that meet the strictest clean diet standards.
“The reception has been off the charts,” said Kevin McCray, the company’s president. “We knew sous vide was powerful from a culinary standpoint, but we have been absolutely blown away by the reception at the consumer level. Customers love the texture and moisture of our sous-vide proteins and vegetables.”
They also love the fact that Kevin’s entrées come with the sauce in a separate pouch, McCray said. That gives them the option of pan-searing the meat or stir-frying the vegetables and deglazing the pan with the sauce to elevate the quality of the meal.
Sales of Kevin’s sous vide products are growing across the board, with the company’s chicken breast entrées leading the way, followed by its 100% grass-fed beef entrées and its latest development — stir-fry vegetables.
Healthy — and convenient
Kevin’s retail partners are focused on expanding their prepared meals assortment to include healthy, adventurous recipes without sacrificing flavor or the convenience that section is known for, McCray said. Kevin’s fits the bill perfectly by providing a broad, multi-cultural menu of products that drive a new, health-conscious shopper to the HMR section.
“Consumers love the ability to meal prep without the ‘prep,’” McCray said. “The most common feedback we get is thank you notes from people who are grateful for culinary shortcuts that help them eat clean without sacrificing time or flavor.”
More than ever, people are trying to improve their lifestyle habits. Kevin’s, McCray said, is happy to be a resource to help people actually do it.
In addition to its own strong product offer, Kevin’s is benefiting from “very strong” demand for the sous vide category in general.
“The cat is out of the bag that sous vide can deliver the added convenience of fully cooking your protein or vegetables, while simultaneously elevating the quality of the product,” he said. “With most other cooking methods, you have to sacrifice quality to get the benefit of pre-cooking, but not with sous vide.”
Kevin’s anticipates the awareness and familiarity of sous vide to continue to grow as it becomes more ubiquitous, McCray said. The company will continue to grows its sous vide line by expanding its menu of vegetables and proteins that serve as the canvas for Kevin’s signature paleo/keto-certified simmer sauces in its entrées.
The latest addition to Kevin’s sous vide product roster is a line of Gluten-Free Pasta Entrées, which pair sous vide proteins with cauliflower-based pasta and the company’s signature Paleo Pasta Sauces.
All five flavors hit the market in September at stores including Costco, HEB, Sprouts, Shaw’s and Cub Foods.
Flavors in the line include:
- Beef Stroganoff
- Beef Bolognese
- Chicken Penne Alla Vodka
- Lemon Garlic Chicken Penne
- Chicken Pasta Primavera