For the on-the-go family, or those who want quick meal options, select commissaries are offering fresh meal kits as a way to enjoy gourmet-style meals in as little as 10 minutes.
The meal kits are part of a pilot program in 12 stores in Virginia and North Carolina, and are offered in response to customer demand and market growth in the meal kit industry, according to Darrell Clary, Defense Commissary Agency category manager for meat, beverages and deli/bakery products.
The four-portion meals come in Fresh Meal Kits, One Pan Dishes and Premium Pairings options. All meals contain fresh protein, flavorful sauces and finishing elements such as toppings, breading or vegetables. The individually wrapped ingredients are easily combined with easy-to-follow directions or recipe cards, which are included with every meal.
“We have spoken with suppliers and reviewed a lot of data concerning the current meal kit subscription services being offered,” Clary said. “Customers have cited concerns with cost, lack of availability in some areas and quantity of product in the subscription kits. In addition, many customers have indicated that they would like to purchase meal kits from brick and mortar stores where they can see the product prior to purchase.”
The meal kits were introduced Nov. 1, and the program will be evaluated in February 2019 for a possible commissary-wide rollout.
Stores offering the meal kits are: Fort Bragg North and South, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, and Marine Corps Air Stations New River and Cherry Point in North Carolina; and in Virginia, Naval Air Station Oceana, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Norfolk Naval Shipyard – Portsmouth (Scott Center Annex), Naval Station Norfolk, Fort Eustis, Langley Air Force Base and Fort Lee.
There are 10 menu choices among the meal kit offerings, all under the Tyson Tastemaker brand. Fresh Meal Kit options include Nashville Hot and Crispy Chicken, Parmesan Breaded Chicken, Carne Asada Street Tacos and Tomato Braised Chicken Cacciatore. One Pan Dishes offer Korean BBQ Style Chicken, Chicken Arrabbiata and Chicken Paella. Premium Pairings includes Bruschetta Chicken, Olive Oil and Herb Chicken and Italian Herbed Pork Chops.
Going forward, DeCA will work with the supplier to offer additional choices.
For more information on the meal kits, visit https://www.tysontastemakers.com
-- By Keith Desbois, DeCA public affairs specialist