Giant Eagle Launches Market District Sauces

After close to a year of rigorous product development, multiple formulations and testing and tastings grocer Giant Eagle has launched its new Private Brand Market District pasta sauces. Executive Development Chef John Gruver led the team in this culinary mission, attending to every detail, from recipe creation to numerous taste-testing forums with select vendors. “Just because you have a great recipe and quality ingredients, doesn’t mean you’ll have a great product.” Textures and flavors transform when you cook on a larger scale. Cooking and cooling times change; it is truly an art and a science.
“The supplier we chose was highly skilled at adjusting our recipes to maintain the integrity of the originals. They were willing to start from scratch. They are also very excited about the seasonal sauces we have in mind, which we’re hoping to add to the line soon. After eight months of formulating and testing, we knew they could meet our ridiculously high expectations:

  • 100% fresh Italian plum tomatoes — not tomato concentrate or paste, or other fillers
  • Imported olive oil, real cream and fresh garlic
  • No preservatives or added sugars
  • Freshly chopped herbs and vegetables — never dried
  • Cooked in small-batch sauté pans to distribute heat evenly
  • Produced in a state-of-the-art, LEED certified, green production plant by a local supplier committed to creating ultra-premium, quality foods

New pasta sauce varieties include:

Arrabiatta — A classic Roman sauce made with 100% Italian plum tomatoes and imported olive oil, with fresh-chopped basil, garlic, onions and crushed red pepper to add a flavorful kick.

Tomato Vodka — Begun as a soffrito of fresh-chopped garlic, carrots, celery and onions, this sauce is transformed with 100% imported Italian plum tomatoes, the finest Romano and Parmesan cheeses and real cream and vodka for an exceptionally flavorful, rich and indulgent sauce.

Tomato Basil — Made with fresh, chopped basil, fine imported olive oil, and 100% Italian-grown plum tomatoes, our basil sauce is delicately prepared to offer the light texture, balanced taste and unmatched quality of authentic Southern Italian sauces.

Marinara — The go-to made with a soffrito of garlic, onion and olive oil, and 100% imported Italian plum tomatoes, slowly simmered to create the delicate texture of a high-quality homemade sauce. Finished with fresh chopped basil and thyme, it is stupendously flavorful and versatile.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.