Del Monte Fresh Produce introduced a line of pre-measured smoothie mixes, according to Progressive Grocer.
A press release on the site described the mixes — made of cut-up fruit in a plastic cup — as “fresh, healthy, and convenient for aspiring health enthusiasts on the go.”
The mix cups are in four varieties and are sold in the refrigerated sections of produce departments.
A perfect example of “you get what you pay for,” these small cups of pre-cut fruit pieces that are designed to be blended into smoothies or eaten as-is, cost several times the retail price of the ingredients, if bought separately. The consumer certainly gets convenience — but will certainly pay for the privilege.
Is this product meeting a need, or simply serving a market segment of people too lazy to do a little bit of the food-prep work themselves? Several new products seem to straddle this line. Pinnacle Foods' new Duncan Hines “Perfect Size For One” mug-cake baking mix simplifies the already for easy-to-prepare microwave treat. Quaker Oats partnered with Chef'd to create an overnight oats meal kit — a simple recipe that involves stirring together ingredients and placing them in the refrigerator. And similar to the smoothie mix, Thistle has created baby food meal kits that include cut-up fruits and vegetables to be steamed and pureed.
As well as arguing such products may be too convenient, one might consider that the packaging creates an additional burden. Individual fruits to be chopped and sliced create biodegradable waste, while a plastic cup is less eco-friendly.