Take a moment before you pop that pizza in the oven or start the clock on your microwaveable frozen meal: Nestlé USA is recalling almost three million total boxes of frozen food, including some DiGiorno pizzas, Stouffer’s lasagnas and Lean Cuisine meals. [More]
You may remember the announcement last week that Nestle USA would be cutting back on artificial flavorings and salt in its frozen food products. That widely-publicized announcement isn’t about the company’s concern for its customers’ health: Nestle is concerned about the health of its frozen food business. Specifically the Lean Cuisine brand. [More]
Barefoot Contessa Suing California Company Over Unauthorized “Contessa Chef Inspired” Frozen Dinners
Having a famous brand might sound pretty awesome, but with a name everyone recognizes comes the hassle of trying to protect that name from others out there trying to make a buck off it. Food Network host Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa, is preparing to do battle to keep her brand her own, suing a California company for selling what she calls unauthorized look-alikes of her frozen dinners.
For most consumer items, you want to attract customers who are as young as possible in order to win their brand loyalty for life. In the frozen dinner business, that’s become a problem, because people under age 40 or so simply aren’t interested in frozen meals, no matter how fresh and healthy the packages proclaim them to be. [More]
Lots of frozen meal brands have debuted new and exciting meals that they claim will “steam” right in the packaging. Is that even a thing? Is that really any different from how other microwaveable meals cook? Our fresh and nutritious colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports noticed all of these ads, and decided to test a variety of steamy meals. [More]
Have you bought a frozen meal from Trader Joe’s recently? Check your freezer, because a batch of their butter chicken meals, which are imported from Canada, have been recalled for possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria of nastiness.
Erica likes to bring frozen meals to work for her lunch, and thought that she would try a new entrée from discount brand Michelina’s: an open-faced beef and mashed potato sandwich. Anything involving frozen bread and gravy would give some people misgivings, but Erica thought it sounded promising. What she got after she opened the package and microwaved it was… whatever the opposite of “promising” is.
There are a number of criticisms you can make about frozen meals and chain takeout: poor nutrition, factory farming, and wasteful packaging. Most Americans don’t care about that, though. What they want to know is: does this meal look anything like the photo on the package? Does it taste like beef-flavored cardboard? Is the portion big enough to keep me from running to the break room vending machine by 3:00? For them, the convenience food blog Tasty Lies exists.
Jenna sat down to eat her Smart Ones frozen entree, a vegetable-loaded lasagna, when she found that she’d just been served a big, steaming bowl of confusion. Eating frozen dinners is supposed to simplify meal planning when you’re trying to lose weight, but the package manages to contradict itself regarding the meal’s nutritional content. A simple enough graphic design error, sure, but it indicates a worrisome lack of attention to detail.