Conagra innovation focused on frozen

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BOCA RATON, FLA. — Consumers are going to start seeing brands like Angie’s Boomchickapop, Bertolli, Chef Boyardee, Dolly Parton and Vlasic in new categories. As part of its 2024 innovation agenda, Conagra Brands is planning to extend each into new eating occasions to create new opportunities.

Popcorn brand Angie’s Boomchickapop, for example, is headed to the frozen novelty category with the launch of Angie’s Boomchickapops. The introduction will give Conagra Brands a foothold in the $7.6 billion frozen novelty space, according to a presentation by executives at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference taking place in Boca Raton Feb. 20-23.

Conagra also plans to expand its Bertolli brand in frozen food with the introduction of Bertolli oven meals and Bertolli appetizers. The oven meals will be available in three varieties, including chicken alfredo, chicken parmigiana and penne, and meatball rigatoni. The appetizers will be available in three cheese toasted ravioli and arancini Parmesan. The appetizers also are “air fryer ready,” according to the company.

Chef Boyardee is relocating to the frozen food aisle with the introduction of Chef Boyardee Skillets.

“For those feeding larger families, we’re modernizing and premiumizing Chef Boyardee, and we’re moving it into the frozen category,” said Thomas M. McGough, co-chief operating officer, during the presentation. “These are unbelievably great products consumers prepare (in) just 15 minutes at about $2 per serving.”

A Chef Boyardee Skillet item shown during the presentation was a spaghetti and meatballs variety that serves 4.5, according to the company.

In January, Conagra Brands announced it was extending its partnership with Dolly Parton. Initial new products mentioned included cake mixes, muffin mixes and a pancake mix. During the CAGNY presentation, McGough added several new products to the list.

“Our next step is to move Dolly into the frozen category with baked goods and frozen meals,” he said. “We’re just getting started here. There’s a lot more to come in the upcoming years.”

Finally, to capitalize on the popularity of pickle ball, Conagra Brands plans to introduce Vlasic pickle balls later this year. The product is a puffed, pickle flavored snack item.

“There’s probably nothing more important in our playbook than innovation,” McGough said. “It’s the key to driving sustainable long-term growth. And the upcoming innovation we have is some of our strongest.” 

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