Wegmans Powers Up Private Brand

What’s in a Power Meal? Fresh, whole ingredients packed with amazing flavor served with balanced nutrition. For people looking for the right fuel to lead healthier, better lives through food, Power Meals provide a balance of nutrients that will keep you satisfied and full of energy until the next meal. Great as a lunch or dinner, private brand Power Meals are now available at most Wegmans Food Markets, and priced in the $8-$15 range, depending upon the ingredients.

Wegmans’ Meal Development Team wanted Power Meals to hit a nutritional “bulls-eye,” and they scrambled a few customary steps to get there. This time, instead of having Wegmans’ nutritionists tweak recipes that chefs had already created to make them healthier, the process began with the nutritionists setting the parameters that Power Meals had to meet.

“We’ve learned a lot in recent years about how nutrients like protein and fiber can help people feel satisfied longer, so they’re less tempted to make choices which don’t align with their health goals,” says Wegmans Nutritionist Kirby Branciforte, RDN. “We also know what many people struggle with in terms of putting together well-balanced meals. So we created the guidelines for Power Meals for the chefs to follow in order to make it easier for folks.”

Power Meal guidelines: 600 calories or less; 25 grams or more of protein; at least five grams of fiber; under 1,000 mg of sodium; less than 10 grams of added sugar; at least one cup of vegetables.

Here are the first eight Power Meals developed. They’re now on sale in the Market Café areas of select stores. (Note: stores may carry a selection, rather than all eight varieties):

  • Kung Pao Chicken Power Meal: With Kung Pao Chicken, Happy Rice, yu choy, asparagus, green beans, stir-fried red pepper, and mushrooms. Total calories: 500.
  • Kung Pao Shrimp Power Meal: Shrimp, green beans, asparagus, yu choy, snap sugar peas, red bell pepper, zucchini, Happy Rice, mushrooms, peanuts, scallions, kosher salt, pistachios. Total calories: 440.
  • King Salmon Tataki Power Meal: With King Salmon Tataki, organic super greens, organic red quinoa, edamame, pistachios, green beans, red and yellow peppers, and truffle ponzu dressing. Total calories: 450.
  • Tuna Tataki Power Meal: Tuna, cooked red quinoa, organic super greens, soybeans, green beans, pistachios, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, and black truffle spread. Total calories: 330.
  • Black Pepper Beef Tenderloin Power Meal: Beef, green beans, asparagus, yu choy, snap sugar peas, Happy Rice, red bell pepper, mushrooms, scallions, zucchini, sake wine. Total calories: 390.
  • Black Pepper Salmon Power MealSalmon, green beans, asparagus, yu choy, snap sugar peas, Happy Rice, red bell pepper, mushrooms, scallions, sake wine, zucchini, sugar. Total calories: 430.
  • Tuna Poke Power Meal: Cooked organic red quinoa, organic super greens, soybeans, green beans, tuna, salmon, pistachios, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, scallions, white sesame seeds, and black sesame seeds. Total calories: 400.
  • Ceviche Power Meal: Cooked organic red quinoa, organic super greens, soybeans, green beans, shrimp, pistachios, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, kampachi, scallops, lime juice, jalapeno peppers, and chili garlic sauce. Total calories: 330.

Already, Power Meals have become a sensation at Wegmans stores.

“We did a pilot launch of Power Meals a few of months ago at our Pittsford, N.Y. store and it’s been incredibly successful,” says Executive Chef John Emerson. “We listened to our customers and they wanted easy meal solutions that pack a nutritional punch without compromising on flavor. Power Meals check all of those boxes at a competitive price point.”

“We know our customers want meals that deliver on both flavor and health” says Nutritionist Branciforte.  “We try to offer many different tools to make it easier for families to eat balanced meals in portions that can keep everyone feeling their best.”

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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.