MINNEAPOLIS — Citing consumer efforts “to stretch their food budgets without sacrificing quality and taste,” Supervalu yesterday announced the launch of Culinary Circle, a new line of more than 150 private label grab-and-go meals, artisan breads, appetizers, side dishes, soups, salads, specialty sauces, seasonings and desserts. The new line will be available in all of Supervalu’s banners, with premium entrees, soups, side dishes, spreads, sauces, gravies and specialty dips in deli departments, a new line of 10 artisan breads in bakery departments, several desserts and pizzas in frozen food departments, and new lines of cookies, crackers and marinades in the grocery aisles. All Culinary Circle items will be priced about 10% to 15% less than comparable premium national brands. In yesterday’s announcement, company officials said that the line had been developed as an alternative to casual dining restaurant fare, noting that shoppers are trimming back their food budgets, but are still reluctant to sacrifice quality or variety. “Significant research and understanding of consumer insights went into the development of the brand, which has enabled us to appeal directly to consumers’ desire for premium products that help them recreate the casual restaurant experiences they’ve come to enjoy, at a fraction of the cost,” said Duncan Mac Naughton, executive vice president, merchandising and marketing, at Supervalu.
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