KANSAS CITY — Many baked product launches this season have been focused on increasing consumer access to a variety of classic comfort foods. This has been evident both in a literal sense — as with freezer-to-oven pizzas — and in a health and wellness sense — by bringing low carb or plant-based products to the retail comfort food category.
Rao’s Homemade and Schwan’s Co. both added frozen pizzas to their product portfolios, as did plant-based, dairy-free companies Daiya and Wicked Kitchen. Gluten-free frozen food company Capello’s added the Low Carb Lifestyle Uncured Pepperoni pizza to its portfolio. Midwestern pizza franchise Imo’s Pizza has brought its St. Louis style pizza to the frozen aisle for the first time, expanding the restaurant’s distribution network.
Pasta brand Barilla debuted a line of artisanal, bronze die cut pastas and female-founded snack startup Lupii launched a gluten-free lupini bean pasta line.
Low-carb bread items are growing in popularity as the keto diet continues to gain traction. Mission Foods and Guerrero, both brands of Gruma SAB de CV, introduced zero net carb tortillas to their product lines. Better-for-you tortilla company Maria and Ricardo’s is expanding distribution of its keto-friendly tortillas to include most Sprouts Farmers Market, Shop Rite and Wegmans locations.
Many baking companies have an eye on sweet bread right now. Canyon Bakehouse, a subsidiary of Flowers Foods, has debuted gluten-free Hawaiian rolls and Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, Inc., recently launched Party Potato Rolls and Sweet Dinner Potato Rolls. La Brea Bakery introduced an artisan cinnamon raisin loaf, available only at Kroger-owned stores.