CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Dole, plc the world’s largest fresh fruit and vegetable provider is tapping into one of the largest recent culinary trends to give time-starved consumers their choice of healthy plant-based or lean protein single-pan fresh vegetable meals at home.
Starting this week, Dole introduces its new DOLE® Sheet Pan Meal Starter Kits, shipping to retail in select markets across the eastern and southeast United States. The kits represent the industry’s first new fresh vegetable product line catering to the growing sheet pan meal trend and fulfill growing consumer need for easy, single-pan meal options within the value-added vegetable category.
Available in Homestyle Roasted Herb, French Onion and Lemon Parmesan flavor varieties, DOLE® Sheet Pan Meal Starter Kits combine fresh, ready-to-roast vegetables with a perfectly paired seasoning, which can be used for both the vegetables and a favorite added protein such as chicken, seafood or tofu. When mixed and cooked on a conventional sheet pan, the ingredients combine to create a healthy, restaurant-quality meal in minutes for a family of four, with only one dish to clean-up.
“Dole strives to always be at the forefront of food and culinary trends that can drive product innovation and exploration in the kitchen,” said Dole Food Company Director of Product Innovation Shannon Yamada. “Our new Sheet Pan Meal Starter Kits are the culmination of considerable research and trend analysis and allow us to deliver on exactly what consumers are looking for – great-tasting, convenient, one-pan healthy meal solutions. In addition to 20 ounces of fresh vegetables, consumers may add their favorite protein along with the delicious seasoning to easily create a personalized one-pan masterpiece for the family.”
Sheet pan meals have exploded in popularity over the past few years. According to Pinterest trend data, searches for “sheet pan dinners” more than doubled over the last 12 months as consumers searched for convenient ways to satisfy healthy meal cravings during the pandemic. Google searches for “sheet pan dinner” recipes have increased by more than 500% in the last five years, peaking in Q1 2021. There are currently more than 137 million results for “sheet pan dinners” on Google, consisting of primarily preparation techniques and recipes, including over 5,800 sheet pan meal options on Allrecipes.com alone.
According to Yamada, Dole leveraged its category leadership in salad kits to develop popular flavors that are validated through market research to deliver a flavorful meal experience. “Our new line adds three unique products that disrupt the refrigerated vegetable aisle,” she explained. “DOLE Sheet Pan Meal Starter Kits provide a fresh, flavorful solution for busy consumers who want to make healthy eating simple and enjoyable.”
The DOLE® Sheet Pan Meal Starter Kit line evolved through extensive product development in Dole’s research and testing environment. Through this process, specific ingredients, spices and flavors were tested by culinary experts, including Melanie Marcus, Dole’s in-house registered dietitian nutrition and health communications manager:
“The foundation of our Sheet Pan Meal Kits is a robust seasoning flavor that can spark creativity in the kitchen and allow for customization, based on the amount of seasoning you choose to use,” Marcus explained. “In addition to lean proteins like chicken, turkey and different varieties of seafood, this seasoning works equally well with tofu and legumes for a fully plant-based meal that tastes great.”
Launching with three products, each offering distinct flavor varieties, DOLE® Sheet Pan Meal Starter Kits serve four for a suggested retail price of $5.99. Dole’s product innovation team is working on additional future flavors to add to this line.
- DOLE® Homestyle Roasted Herb Sheet Pan Meal Starter Kit – Whole baby carrots, mini red potatoes, green beans and rosemary thyme seasoning.
- DOLE® French Onion Sheet Pan Meal Starter Kit – Whole baby carrots, mini red potatoes, green beans and onion, garlic and parsley seasoning.
- DOLE® Lemon Parmesan Sheet Pan Meal Starter Kit – Whole baby carrots, mini red potatoes, broccoli florets and garlic parmesan and lemon pepper parmesan cheese seasoning.
These 3 new products join 60 other Dole salad kits, salad mixes and slaws including the popular Chopped! and Premium salad kit lines and 15 ready-to-eat bowl salads, for a total of 78 product offerings. To see the complete Dole salad family, visit www.dole.com.
About Dole plc
Dole plc is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole is an industry leader in many of the products it sells, as well as in nutrition education and research. For more information, please visit www.dole.com.