Frozen Foodies – Reinventing Private Brand?

TV DINNEROld school frozen dinners conjure up memories of TV tray, mediocre quality and high content but a new retailer in Chicago is hoping to reinterpret and reinvent the meals with the help of high-end chefs and quality ingredients. The new Chicago-based Frozen Foodies is a chef-driven frozen-food carryout store. Founder Steve Menza has partnered with esteemed local Chicago chefs and restaurants to create recipes specifically for the private brand products of the retailer. These dishes are then created in a Menza Food plant before being “cryogenically frozen” using “FreshFreeze” technology. They will then be sent to a Frozen Foodies store, where shoppers select a meal. Entrées are set to sell for between $4 and $8.

Menza will be launching Frozen Foodies with a single storefront set to open in Chicago in about six weeks. From there, he’s already talking expansion. “We think (Frozen Foodies) is a complete game-changer in the food industry,” he told the food focused website Eater.  “We’ll open a bunch of carryout stores in Chicago before expanding to other markets.”



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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.