- Kraft Heinz is doubling down on home-cooked convenience with its new Homebake 425°/:30 brand. It features frozen main courses, side dishes and vegetables, all of which cook in a 425-degree oven for 30 minutes.
- The offerings include five different main courses, five side dishes and five vegetable dishes that can be purchased separately. The products come in roasting pans that go into the oven, and different items in the line are meant to cook in the same oven together.
- Kraft Heinz has recently been on an innovation blitz, launching brands in new categories, getting into the plant-based space and putting new spins on classic products.
Studies commissioned by Kraft Heinz and referenced in the company’s press release say 61% of U.S. consumers prefer a homemade dinner each night, but more than a third are disappointed in their end product.
The Homebake brand caters to these consumers with an option they can bake in their oven, but that doesn’t require any prep time or skill. The lineup can produce a wide variety of dining options when mixed together. And each dish is designed to serve four, meaning a package can provide a component of a family dinner.
“We’re doubling down on disruptive and insight-led innovation,” Alan Kleinerman, Kraft Heinz’s vice president of disruption, said in a statement. “HOMEBAKE 425°/:30 is a great example of this as we redefine what’s possible for the entire frozen category.”
Frozen foods have seen a resurgence as consumers look for mealtime solutions.
In 2020 as COVID-19 was underway, nearly four in 10 shoppers said they consumed frozen foods at least once every few days, according to the American Frozen Food Institute. The vast majority of shoppers — 83% — consider frozen food as a backup solution, but many said they buy items with specific meals in mind.
Sales are continuing to increase, according to more recent data from SPINS. In January 2022, SPINS found frozen food sales increased 26% compared to 2020. Sales of frozen entrees were up 9.8% compared to the year before, the market data firm found.
While Homebake caters to consumers who are pressed for time, it also meets the needs of those who are cost conscious. According to a February survey from Advantage Solutions, half of consumers said frozen foods are a good value.
Since inflation started sending food prices skyward, two-thirds of consumers surveyed said they bought the same amount or more frozen food. And more than eight in 10 said they plan to buy the same amount or more frozen foods in the next three to six months.
At the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference in February, Kraft Heinz executives said they are refocusing their efforts to improve innovation — which the company sees as its strongest driver for growth.
Kraft Heinz developed a process for this kind of development called One Innovation Engine. This approach reimagines product development and leverages breakthrough technologies to create a portfolio that delivers value for consumers based not only on current needs, but future ones as well.
At CAGNY, Kraft Heinz North America Zone President Carlos Abrams-Rivera said One Innovation Engine includes cross-functional dedicated teams that work together to quickly develop new products. The company is looking for $2 billion in net sales just from these innovation projects by 2027.
With launches like Homebake, NotMayo, Tingly Ted’s and the U.S. debut of Just Spices, Kraft Heinz is putting forward new items that don’t exist as widespread options on the larger market. These white space-filling brands can help the company cement its reputation as a provider of reliable favorites like Macaroni & Cheese and Kool-Aid, but as a driver of new and unique products as well.