BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. -- Ingles Markets here has reached an agreement with prepared-foods supplier WSMP, in a deal that will supply Ingles with various meal items, including chilled entrees and side dishes.
The meal items will be part of the expansion of Ingles Markets' current home-meal replacement program. The items will be supplied by the Mom 'n' Pops food-processing operations of WSMP, which is based in Claremont, N.C.
The modified-atmosphere packaged entrees, side dishes and shelf-stable desserts are being produced under a custom manufacturing agreement with the retailer, similar to an agreement WSMP reached with Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion last fall.
The products are sold fresh, refrigerated and with a shelf life of from five to 25 days.
WSMP is currently packing a wider variety of the protein-based entrees, vegetable side dishes and selected shelf-stable desserts than were originally offered at Food Lion.
The price point for a meal consisting of one entree and two sides at Food Lion is about $4.
Officials at Ingles Markets, which owns and operates about 190 supermarkets in six Southeastern states, and WSMP did not return calls seeking details or comment about the Ingles program.
But WSMP officials have said in the past that the company would use its ability to customize products for retailers as a selling point in developing private-label HMR programs.
In addition to its Mom 'n' Pops food-processing operation, WSMP comprises a variety of other food-processing operations and a restaurant division.