Weight Watchers fresh meals: new entrees, more availability

Weight Watchers' fresh meals were introduced in 2010 and the distribution area is ready to expand as is the lineup. There will now be 18 fresh portion-controlled, chilled prepared meals.

Announced this week, the Weight Watchers line expansion includes three new offerings all made with the same high quality ingredients such as lean beef, white meat chicken and turkey, and fresh vegetables, herbs and spices.

They are: Wild Alaskan Salmon Filet with chopped tomatoes on brown rice; Beef Steak Tips with redskin potatoes, vegetables and gravy; and a Southwestern Style Turkey Chili.

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The original 13 meals ranged in flavor and type of cuisine including home-cooked favorites and Italian pasta meals. Among them are chicken & mushroom Alfredo with fettuccini; meatloaf with garlic mashed potatoes, and roast turkey with cranberry stuffing topped with seasoned turkey gravy.

With the expansion of lineup, customers have plenty of choices. There will be no need to repeat one particular meal for almost three weeks.

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Three of the new meals are unique – not currently offered by other prepared meal brands. The new meals are: Wild Alaskan Salmon Filet with chopped tomatoes on brown rice; Beef Steak Tips with redskin potatoes, vegetables and gravy; and a Southwestern Style Turkey Chili.

The retail price is unique as well. While the original 13 menu items and the new Southwestern Style Turkey Chili sell for a suggested price of $2.99, the Beef Steak Tips and Salmon Filet meals will retail closer to $5.00.

Along with the new variety of meals, there is an expansion in the areas of the country where they'll be available. Currently distributed at nearly all major grocery stores in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West regions ,the company is adding retail outlets in the Southeast. All meals are available on Peapod.com.

Fresh Meals move into stores in North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, just in time for the company's largest volume month in the year - January. It is the month that more people begin weight control programs than any other month in the calendar year.

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All meals are packaged with the Weight Watchers proprietary PointsPlus® values emblazoned on them. The PointsPlus® program makes it easy for consumers to understand where that particular meal fits into his or her total daily food consumption.

The points values are calculated using factors such as the energy contained that make up calories – protein, carbohydrates, fat and fiber – and factoring how hard the body works to process them. All required dietary information is also printed on the packaging such as calories, grams of fat, fiber and protein.

Image credit: Weight Watchers International

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