American consumers have felt a crush of pressure in recent years to lay off consuming so many sugars and work on eating healthier. Smart businesspeople have been happy to jump on the new opportunity, of course. You can now add Kraft's Oscar Mayer to that list.
The 129-year-old deli-meat maker that taught a generation of North Americans how to spell "b-o-l-o-g-n-a" has introduced a new line of products that contain absolutely no artificial preservatives, flavor, or coloring.
"Listening to consumer needs and finding better ways is just the way we do business," stated Heather Buettner, Senior Director New Product Development at Oscar Mayer, in one of two press releases the company issued to promote the launch today. "Our goal is to have 20 percent of our portfolio made with no artificial preservatives by 2015.”
The new Selects line is described as the first to “have no artificial preservatives and make them available at everyday prices in everyday stores,” according to a company release. The launch comes after Oscar Mayer scored itself a big financial hit with Selects Hot Dogs, which debuted in 2010 and brought in $100 million in its first year. According to Symphony IRI Group, only 0.5 percent of products manage can make that claim.
The brand's relaunched Selects product line now boasts six different hot-dog varieties, including angus-beef and turkey dogs, and five different cold-cut varieties, such as slow-roasted turkey, applewood-smoked ham, and rotisserie-seasoned chicken breast. According to the press release,
"Oscar Mayer has a 129-year history of finding better ways using innovation to deliver fresh tasting, high quality meat. For example, it was the first to offer a self-serve sliced bacon package and the first to brand quality meats using the now famous yellow band. This pursuit of finding better ways continues today, giving consumers more of what they want and more reasons to say "yes" to the foods they love. Oscar Mayer Selects includes 12 varieties: Six hot dogs, five cold cuts, as well as bacon. The complete line of Selects is now available in grocery stores nationwide.
"For Oscar Mayer, finding a better way is about more than new product introductions," Buettner said. To that end, Oscar Mayer, together with its suppliers and their farm families are working to find better ways to keep animals healthy and in a safe environment while treating them with respect. "Our consumers expect this from Oscar Mayer and our famous yellow band, which has always signified quality you can trust."
Below, see Kraft's infographic about how it's positioning Oscar Mayer Selects as a better-for-you meal option, part of a broader effort to reduct salt and artificial preservatives across the brand's product portfolio: