OAK CREEK, Wis. -- Two Pick 'N Save Mega Food Centers here are set to introduce a new branded home-meal replacement kiosk based on fresh pasta dishes offered hot or cold.
The freestanding kiosks are part of a new program from the Borden Co., Columbus, Ohio, called the Classico Italian Corner, which employs the manufacturer's consumer brand for sauces in a food-service concept.
The station, which will serve up both hot and chilled meals, was developed primarily for the retail grocery industry, but units may be set up in the convenience-store environment as well, said Astrid M. Campos, product manager of food service for Borden's consumer packaged and North American pasta products division.
Borden introduced the turnkey food modules at the Food Marketing Institute show in Chicago last month.
Pick 'N Save Mega Mart Food Center officials did not respond to telephone calls seeking comment.
The menu for the Classico Italian Corner hot-food module consists of made-to-order pasta entrees that are heated by store associates in as little as 15 seconds.
An adjacent refrigerated unit holds prepacked, single-serve pasta entrees, pasta salads and green salads.
For the hot meals, Borden is supplying its branded Novita pasta, a line of fully cooked and bagged shelf-stable pastas that are delivered to retailers in 5-pound food-service packs. The pastas currently available include spaghetti, penne, rotini, fettuccine, linguine and cappellini.
The six sauce flavors for the meals -- tomato and basil, sausage and fennel, spinach and cheese, four cheese, zesty pepper and roasted garlic -- come from Borden's jarred Classico line, and will be delivered to retailers in 6.6-pound shelf-stable food-service packs.
Suggested price points for the pastas run from $1.58 for a 7-ounce child's portion to $5.49 for a 15-ounce full dinner with bread and salad.
Once the pastas and sauces are mixed and packaged for sale in the cooler unit, Borden recommends that retailers sell them within three days and that customers consume them within five days.
Borden is offering product sampling allowances, point of purchase signage, advertising art, promotional money and coupon art to support the rollout. Retailers must to commit to a minimum number of days and hours of active sampling.
Borden is "in dialogue" with c-store operators about developing a similar but smaller kiosk with less on-site preparation, Campos said.