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    Aldi Expands its Fancy Private Label with Frozen Meals

    BATAVIA, Ill. -- Limited assortment retailer Aldi here has added frozen dinners to its premium, yet affordable, exclusive-label program under the Grandessa brand.

    BATAVIA, Ill. -- Limited assortment retailer Aldi here has added frozen dinners to its premium, yet affordable, exclusive-label program under the Grandessa brand.

    The line of 10 frozen meals was created by Michael J. Brando, a Culinary Institute of America-trained Master Chef, and the president of Smithfield Innovation Group (SIG), a subsidiary of Virginia-based Smithfield Foods. The varieties represent various ethnic food groups, including Szechwan-style chicken with Asian-style vegetables, and Mexican pork with Spanish rice and black beans. The line includes seven individual-sized, 10-ounce microwavable frozen dinners, which retail for just $1.99 each; and three family-sized 40-ounce dinners that require only boiling water, which retail for $4.99 each.

    Aldi, which sells about 90 percent private label merchandise, is getting into more high-end foods sold under the Grandessa name. Other Grandessa products created by Brando include mini ├ęclairs/cream puffs, smoked chicken sausages, German roasted coffee, and 100 percent natural fruit juice bars.

    Besides Grandessa, Aldi offers other exclusive brands such as the recently introduced Fit & Active line, which is geared toward shoppers pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Fit & Active items include nonfat yogurts, meal replacement bars, baked tortilla chips, and light salad dressings.

    Aldi also recently launched an assortment of exclusive international wines and beers, available at most locations. Their prices range from $2.49 to $4.99.

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