"Folks certainly enjoy grilling sausage and other meats outdoors on weekends when their schedules are more relaxed" explains brand manager Jim Mueller. "But on busy weekdays dinnertime often means making meals in minutes. Harried customers will shy away from products that take time to prepare or clean up. That’s why we created our new Heat & Serve Brats and Italian Sausage--we’ve grilled them for you."
The two 32-oz product varieties mirror the "quick- fix" mentality that consumers demand these days adds Mueller. "Consumers are asking for delicious nourishing foods that can be served up in a flash" he says. Pregrilled by Johnsonville the sausage products can be reheated in a microwave in 90 seconds.
Bagged via f/f/s
Twelve links are packaged in a stand-up bag with zipper reclosure. The gussetted bag represents the company’s first stand-up pack according to director of marketing Tom Wolff. The company recently changed from premade bags to rollstock that runs on undisclosed form/fill/seal machinery. Johnsonville declines to mention packaging details other than to say the multilayer material from Curwood is flexo-printed in eight colors.
The IQF products remain frozen throughout distribution yet Johnsonville selected barrier materials. Research and development director Kevin Ladwig says they wanted to ensure optimum flavor for a 180-day shelf life they suggest to retailers though there is no consumer readable use-by date he adds.
The bagged links rolled into markets throughout the Midwest in spring 2003 following a successful three-city test market in spring 2002 according to Wolff. The products sell for $7.99 to $8.99 per bag.