Melanie Zanoza Bartelme

Vegan instant meals
Upton’s Naturals
recently released a line of vegan meal kits that celebrate the flavors of Thailand that founder Dan Staackmann and vice-president Nicole Sopko discovered while traveling to source the company’s ready-to-eat jackfruit.

The fully cooked, ready-to-heat kits are ready in one minute. They contain precooked noodles, fresh vegetables, and Thai spices and are available in four varieties: Massaman Curry, Pad See Ew, Thai Spaghetti, and Thai Curry Noodle. The kits—which are low in calories and free from trans fats, cholesterol, GM ingredients, and preservatives—retail for a suggested price of $4.99.

Sophisticated slow-cooker kits
The Zen of Slow Cooking
founders Meg Barnhart and Jane McKay created their company as a way to let home cooks create wholesome, convenient, and globally inspired dishes that feed four to six people each—without the stress of complicated meal preparation. The company also works with Planet Access Co. to create jobs for adults with intellectual disabilities, who package the blends.

Each pouch includes two packets of premium whole or ground spices along with an accompanying recipe and shopping list. Users combine the suggested proteins and vegetables with the spices and set their slow cooker; some additional prep and cooking steps may be required, depending on the variety. Available flavors include Coq Au Vin, Indian Dal, Moroccan Tagine, Southwest Fiesta, and Sichuan, which just won a 2017 sofi Award from the Specialty Food Assoc. The kits can be found at Whole Foods Market and from Peapod for a suggested retail price of $7–$8.

Superfood salads
Salad dressing maker Tessemae’s is repositioning itself as a fresh food company and entering the organic produce market with a line of Grab & Go Salad Kits.

“[People] want clean, fresh, meal solutions. Tessemae’s is here to enable that clean eating for everyone, everywhere,” says CEO Greg Vetter.

The gluten-free superfood kits each feature a dressing packet, white meat chicken, and a crunchy topper such as sprouted quinoa, almonds, chia seeds, and flax seeds. They contain 19–21 grams of protein and 390–480 calories depending on the variety. Available in four flavors—Spinach Bacon Ranch, Power Kale Caesar, Sweet Kale Crunch, and Sesame Ginger Greens—the salads can be found in Kroger stores for a suggested retail price of $5.99, and distribution will soon expand to other retailers.

Upton’s Naturals

Upton’s Naturals’ new Real Meal Kits offer the flavors of Thailand along with fresh veggies and precooked noodles in a heat-and-eat pouch.

Slow-cooker kits

The Zen of Slow Cooking kits let consumers create wholesome, convenient, and globally inspired dishes using their slow cookers.

Grab & Go Salad Kits

Tessemae’s single-serve salad kits pack protein, produce, and superfoods into a convenient, on-the-go format.