- Pinnacle Foods, Inc. will launch a Duncan Hines’ “Perfect Size for One” baking this year, which can be microwaved in a coffee mug in a minute, according to Food Business News.
- The company is hoping to follow-up its success last year with its Wish-Bone E.V.O.O. dressings, which featured more extra virgin olive oil than most mainstream dressings.
- Mark Clouse, chief executive officer of Pinnacle Foods, said the baking industry is facing a number of challenges including smaller households, customer concerns over portion control and aggressive pricing on the low end. “Our strategy continues to be focused on innovating at the premium higher end," he said.
With studies showing more single people are living by themselves, it makes sense for Pinnacle and other food manufacturers to invest in single-serve meals. The baking business generates nearly $50 billion in sales annually, according to the most recent data from Nielsen. Growth is coming from many categories such as cookies, snack cakes, crackers and baked bread, providing a lucrative opportunity for the food industry.
Whether or not there’s a demand for single-serve baking mixes remains to be seen, but it’s convenient and quick, which is what millennials want. Pinnacle also could benefit from a consumer looking to indulge but only wanting to eat a small portion.
Despite the desire for smaller serving sizes and convenience, this might not actually serve a true consumer need. Mug cakes, as they're often called, are simple to put together from food staples, usually only requiring a few ingredients, a mug and a microwave. Thousands of recipes are available on Pinterest, and the sweet treat is easy for even non-bakers to make from scratch. Much like the Quaker Oats and Chef'd overnight oats meal kit launched last year and Thistle's baby food meal kit, this product tries to add convenience to something that is already convenient.
If Duncan Hines’ “Perfect Size for One” succeeds, it could grab the attention of food manufactures desperate to find new sources of growth. Kraft Heinz announced last September it would keep open a plant in Fullerton, CA, that manufactures Lunchables. The product has been popular in large part because it's convenient for the on-the-go consumer. Consumers are looking for more convenient ways to get a meal, spending more than a quarter of their food budgets on items that are convenient to eat as meals or snacks, according to the USDA.