Ready-made meals child’s play for Melbourne business

Melbourne-based business Food Babies Love has launched a range of ready-made meals for babies and toddlers as demand for pre-prepared meals continues to rise in Australia.

Food Babies Love – Fresh Pots is the brainchild of author, Emily Dupuche, who published a best selling guide book on introducing solids to babies titled Food Babies Love in 2012. The Fresh Pots flavours are based on recipes from Ms Dupuche’s book translated into a ready-made format, which Ms Dupuche describes as the ultimate grab and go convenience for parents.

There are seven flavours in the Fresh Pots range including Lentil Dahl, Fish Pie, Curry and Spaghetti Bolognaise. The 200g square plastic tamper-proof pots are microwavable, freezable and resealable, and come in three distinct ages and stages: early proteins for 6-plus months, textured meals for 7-plus months and toddler meals for 10-plus months.

“It’s a premium product because we have not compromised on the core values of the brand around quality of ingredients – they must all be locally-sourced and no fillers, no preservatives,” said Ms Dupuche.

Ready-made meals remain an untouched opportunity for local convenience stores in Australia following the growth and success of the segment internationally. According to the AACS State of the Industry report released earlier this year one of the convenience channel’s growing strengths is the demise of the traditional weekly shop and the growing rise of ‘top up’ shopping missions by consumers, with shoppers in pursuit of streamlined choice and superior freshness. Research conducted by IRI for the AACS State of the Industry report found 52 per cent of consumers look  for foods that are convenient and easy to prepare.

Ms Dupuche told C&I Week the Fresh Pot’s clear packaging is to ensure transparency, with their square shape ideal for maximising shelf space in a retail store.

“The clear packaging is around providing transparency about what is inside the pot, which is in direct opposition to the way the typical baby food is sold in squeeze pouches,” she said.

“The pots also stack very neatly side by side or next to each other as opposed to a round pot which is often used for dips or soups. The Fresh Pots all have a brightly coloured coded sleeves which helps them ‘pop’ off the shelf from a visibility perspective and to help the consumer understands which flavour variant they are buying.”

The Food Babies Love – Fresh Pots (RRP $5.99) are available in a number of IGA supermarkets, premium grocery stores such as About Life and independents, with Ms Dupuche  eager to get the range into the convenience channel. New products are also in the pipeline for the Food Babies Love -Fresh Pots range as well as new categories such as snacks.

“We have lots of new product development ideas but we just have to embed this range first. As time passes we’ll be able to explore some new flavours variants and different extensions to the brand.”

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