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Peapod has introduced a line of six ready-to-heat, healthy prepared meals by celebrity Chicago chef Michael Foley. Exclusive to the e-grocer, the restaurant-quality entrees are available for delivery in the Chicago market under the Peapod’s Chef Express Smart Selections brand.
“Consumers are cutting back on visits to restaurants, but many simply don’t have the time or energy to cook at home,” noted Peapod’s Tony Stallone. “This new line of prepared meals from Chef Michael Foley allows our customers to enjoy the cost-savings and healthy aspects of eating at home but maintain the convenience and flavor of dining out at the same time.”
The new varieties are sesame-crusted salmon with citrus mashed potatoes; pulled pork enchiladas; chicken breast with home-style bread dumplings; whole wheat linguini with butternut squash, pecorino and sage; Szechuan beef and vegetable stir fry, and hearty country turkey meatloaf. Prices range from $9.99 to $11.99 for a meal that serves two to three people.
“The meals I developed for Peapod are based on my ‘New Architecture of Food’ philosophy, where food, flavor, nutrition and culture all come together,” explained Foley, who was executive chef and proprietor of the nationally recognized Printer's Row restaurant in Chicago for 25 years, and now consults and performs product development work for food companies such as Starbucks, Kraft and Kashi, as well as operating a culinary and educational studio in Chicago called Vegetable Alchemy. “Each of my Chef Express Smart Selections meals balances proteins with complex carbohydrates and combines a touch of olive oil with lots of herbs and spices to fill a need for customers whose lifestyles demand convenience, fresh flavors and smart nutrition.”
When asked by PG whether the meals would eventually become available in Peapod’s other markets, company spokeswoman Elana Margolis said that Chicago was the natural place for the items to debut because of the presence of the company’s catering facility in the area, and that it wasn’t yet known when or if the concept would be rolled out to additional locales.
Skokie, Ill.-based Peapod, a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Ahold in The Netherlands, has achieved over 14 million deliveries since its late 1980s inception. It serves 22 U.S. markets in communities in the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.