Exactly a year after entertainment mogul Oprah Winfrey announced she was launching her line of grocery-store refrigerated soups and side dishes, she’s expanding to the freezer section.
The brand — called O, That’s Good! — now includes frozen pizza with a crust that's one-third cauliflower, continuing Winfrey's efforts to add vegetables to beloved classics, according to manufacturer Kraft Heinz.
The new 11-inch pies, which serve five people, come in Five Cheese, Uncured Pepperoni, Supreme and Fire Roasted Veggie flavors. The suggested retail price is $6.99. Each serving contains 280 to 330 calories and 3 to 5 grams of saturated fat. The pizzas debut on store shelves on Wednesday.
"Pizza is a favorite, fun and easy food to share with family and friends," Winfrey said in a statement. "I am always looking to add a nutritious twist to my foods, so we made part of the crust in my new pizza with cauliflower while maintaining that classic, cheesy pizza flavor you and your family love."
When discussing the launch of O, That’s Good! last year, she cited cauliflower as the impetus. She whipped up some mashed potatoes for herself at home, but replaced some of the tubers with healthier cauliflower.
Jumping into the freezer makes sense. Annual U.S. sales of frozen foods are $53 billion industry, according to the consumer data company Nielsen.
"While growth pockets have existed in frozen for years, its overall growth relative to other packaged food is accelerating as consumers begin to see freezing as a way to preserve food with fewer negatives," RBC Capital Markets analyst David Palmer wrote in a report for investors in the spring. "Frozen prepared foods, e.g. meals, appetizers, are gaining share of stomach."
He explained that frozen meals and appetizers make up 35 percent of the frozen-food aisle and that this category's sales growth is the highest in five years — 3 percent and growing.
And everyone aspires to eat more vegetables, but they won't tolerate anything less than tasty, according to Melissa Abbott, vice president of culinary insights at the food industry consultancy the Hartman Group.
"In the American food culture, we’re at a stage now where health and wellness is merging with culinary aspirations," she said. "There's a seismic shift in terms of what was acceptable in the '80s, '90s and even the 2000s. Yes, you should eat vegetables, but it was 'grin and bear it.'"
That's where O, That's Good! steps in.
In addition to the pizzas, O, That’s Good! also is adding four other foods to the line-up — Chicken with White & Wild Rice Soup, Roasted Corn Chowder, Sour Cream & Chive Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli Cheddar Rice, Kraft Heinz said. The soups' suggested retail price is $4.99 and the sides', $4.49.
"Our mission is to continue to grow the business, to grow across different categories and find a twist on a product, a better balance of taste and nutrition," said Christopher Urban, head of Mealtime Stories, the joint venture between Kraft Heinz and Winfrey.
Ten percent of the profits will be donated to charities working to reduce hunger, according to Kraft Heinz.
In July, Winfrey invested in True Food Kitchen, a Phoenix-based restaurant chain that specializes in healthy food. She's also been a Weight Watchers investor since 2015, though she sold about a quarter of stake in March.
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