Dole introduces line of all-natural chopped salads

Dole is set to launch the industry’s first all-natural (containing no artificial colors, flavors or ingredients) chopped salad line to include both kits and blends.

All Natural Dole Chopped Salads – consisting of three all-natural chopped salad kits formulated with kale and two chopped salad blends, all industry firsts – arrive in stores in mid-September 2013.

The Chipotle & Cheddar Chopped Salad Kit combines cheddar cheese and cheddar tortilla strips with crunchy green and red cabbage, crisp Romaine, kale, sweet carrots, green onions and Dole’s Chipotle Ranch dressing.

The Bacon & Bleu Chopped Salad Kit features Applewood smoked bacon mixed with crunchy green and red cabbage, crisp Romaine, kale, sweet carrots, green onions and Dole’s original Blue Cheese dressing.

The BBQ Ranch Chopped Salad Kit contains crispy fried onions, cheddar tortilla chips, crunchy green and red cabbage, crisp Romaine, kale, sweet carrots and green onions, plus Dole’s tangy BBQ Ranch dressing. Joining the kits for the launch are two new chopped salad blends consisting of a mix of fresh-cut lettuces and vegetables and representing the industry’s first packaged chopped salad blends. Research shows that consumers welcome the chance to use chopped salad blends as the base to create their own, more elaborate chopped salad creations, Dole said.

The Asian Chopped Salad Blend includes crunchy green and red cabbage, kale, broccoli slaw, snap peas and sweet carrots. In addition to inspiring salad experimentation, this blend is ideal as the foundation for a stir-fry, according to Dole.

The Summer Garden Chopped Salad Blend mixes green and red cabbage with crisp Romaine, radishes, green onions and sweet carrots.

Dole said its commitment to all-natural salad kits includes not only the lettuces and vegetables but all other kit ingredients including nuts, croutons, cheeses, seasonings and dressings. This pledge is a direct response to years of consumer research showing that many salad consumers, while recognizing the healthy, flavorful appeal of packaged salads, have reservations about the wholesomeness of certain salad kit ingredients, especially the dressings and toppings.

The suggested retail prices of $3.99 and $2.99-$3.29 are consistent with Dole’s other kits and blends, respectively.

The line will be supported by an aggressive launch campaign encompassing digital FSI and other advertising; digital, website, in-store and on-pack couponing; and comprehensive in-store/POS and PR programs. Dole will specifically target trial by top-tier food bloggers as well as the close to 1 million salad fans that follow Dole’s Facebook and Twitter pages or are members of the Dole Salad Circle online community.

Originally posted Monday, Aug. 19, 2013

Tags: fresh-cut produce, retail promotion, value-added