Deli staple Lunchables are now looking for room in the produce department

The compartment-based, build-your-own children’s meals have added fresh fruit for the first time, through a partnership with Del Monte.
Lunchables with fresh fruit
For the first time, Lunchables will be sold in the produce department thanks to the addition of fresh fruit. / Photo courtesy: Lunchables

Thirty-four years after debuting in deli cases, Lunchables are scooting over to the produce department for the first time.

Lunchables maker Kraft Heinz has partnered with Fresh Del Monte Produce on an initial product rollout that features pineapple, clementines, grapes and apples with the deli meat, crackers and cheese assortment Lunchables are known for, the companies announced Tuesday.

The product launch, timed to coincide with back-to-school season, comes after the food producers noted a 500% increase in social media searches for “Lunchables with fruits and vegetables” in the past year, they noted.

The new Lunchables line consists of Ham & Cheddar Cracker Stackers with Fresh Apples, Turkey & Cheddar Cracker Stackers with Fresh Grapes, Ham & Cheddar Cracker Stackers with Fresh Pineapple and Turkey & Cheddar Cracker Stackers with Fresh Clementines.

They will initially be available in the produce section of select grocery retailers in the south-central U.S., the companies said.

Kraft Heinz said it has been working to improve the nutrition profile of its Lunchables line. Earlier this year, the food manufacturer announced two new products that meet National School Lunch Program guidelines, complementing its recent focus on reducing sodium, sugar and saturated fat in its products. The crackers contained in the packages now include less salt and oil, the company said.

“We see the partnership to introduce this evolution of Lunchables as a true game changer for children’s nutrition,” Fresh Del Monte VP of Marketing Melissa Mackay said in a statement. “By bringing together the freshness and quality that Fresh Del Monte fruits are known for with the convenience and fun of Lunchables, we have a real opportunity to change kids’ perspective around fruits, ideally helping to make fruit consumption second nature to younger generations.”

Since their national launch in 1989, Lunchables’ compartment-based product line has expanded to include a variety of protein-and-carbohydrate combinations, including Chicken Dunks (breaded white-meat chicken with a juice pouch and candy), a build-your-own Turkey and Cheddar Sub Sandwich (with water, drink mix powder, chips and chocolates), and Extra Cheesy Pizza (shredded cheese blend, whole-grain crusts and pizza sauce).

The combinations are peppered with products from other CPG brands, including Capri Sun, and Kraft Heinz brands, such as Oscar Mayer.

“At Kraft Heinz, we are transforming through innovation by making bigger bets to fuel growth and create new products for our fans,” Naor Danieli, director of marketing for Lunchables, said in a statement. “Lunchables with Fresh Fruit is a ripe example of how we are quickly moving to introduce new offerings rooted in real consumer needs. Teaming up with Fresh Del Monte helps accelerate the innovation our brand strives for, lending its expertise in fresh produce to expand the delicious, buildable and real food experience we provide for kids.”



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