"We know that breakfast time is a very significant pain point and a growing need for parents," Cohen told FoodNavigator-USA. As a dad himself, Cohen knows firsthand the struggle to get kids (and yourself) dressed, fed, and out the door in the morning.
"The whole idea is to make breakfast easy for parents," he said.
Just as the brand has done for its other frozen food products (chicken nuggets, pizza, and cheese quesadillas), Kidfresh is putting a
healthier spin on kids favorites (starting with frozen waffles and breakfast burritos) by adding in a dose of hidden vegetables in each serving, including sweet potato and butternut squash. Each breakfast product also contains 8g to 15g of protein per serving.
"We’ll have a big push around the marketing and distribution of these items this year," Cohen said.
The brand's foray into breakfast will be supported by a new round of funding led by its existing institutional investors: Monogram Capital Partners, Emil Capital Partners and AccelFoods. This same group of investors has made a previous cash injection into Kidfresh in April 2017.
The recent investment will also support the deployment and rollout of the the company's new organic line and re-branding initiatives, added Cohen.
"Kidfresh is transforming the frozen aisle and the way parents are feeding their families. This is a big year for Kidfresh and we are thrilled to be supporting their growth," said AccelFoods' Vice President Hannah McCain.
Outpacing frozen category growth
Kidfresh has managed to outpace growth of the overall US frozen food category, which generated 2.6% growth in dollar sales in the 52 weeks to January 27, 2019, according to the latest IRI data.
By comparison, Kidfresh wrapped up last year with +49% year-over-year growth and recently sold its 20 millionth meal, according to Cohen.
Cohen said that its strong annual growth is a direct reflection of addressing the needs of parents of young kids, who are searching for convenient, more nutritious frozen foods options.
"This growth is really the expression of the consumer endorsement that we’re getting. We have defined and owned a category of better-for-you kids food that is today in frozen but can certainly grow beyond frozen," he said.
Natural channel and c-stores next
Kidfresh is currently in more than 10,000 stores nationwide within the conventional grocery channel and is setting its sights on the natural foods channel next, Cohen shared.
"We’re very strong in conventional, mainstream chains, and we still have room to grow there," Cohen said.
"The next channel we really want to aggressively pursue is the natural channel in 2019," he said, adding that the drug, c-store, and eventually the club store channel are part of its company roadmap.
As far as future product developments Cohen said that the company is always seeking out the middle-ground between what kids like to eat and what parents feel good about feeding their kids.
"At the end of the day, the kids need to like it. For us it’s always trade off between what we know what it better-for-you and making sure that we maintain the appeal for kids," he said.
Kidfresh CEO Matt Cohen was one of the many speakers and industry thought leaders that attended FoodNavigator-USA's FOOD FOR KIDS summit in Chicago last November.
Missed the event? We will be holding our second annual FOOD FOR KIDS summit again this year Nov. 18 -20, 2019 in Chicago.