Premium options in Center Store?

Many consumers still associate the idea of “shelf-stable meals” with Hamburger Helper and ramen noodles. But for shoppers who visited the center store for the first time in a while during the pandemic, they were probably surprised to see just how many premium options are sold in this section.


Complete Meals that Compete with Frozen

Fast, healthy, complete meals used to be almost exclusively found in the frozen aisle. However, as more consumers embrace meat-free meals that don’t automatically require refrigeration, center store brands have been able to really step up their game. Using dark colors, high end finishes and mouth watering photography has help make consumers to take a second look.

Even legacy brands like Kraft that have been selling in center store for decades are experimenting with their formulations in fun new ways. For example, cauliflower-based foods – such as pizza crust and “rice” – have long been a trend in the frozen aisle and are just now starting to show up in classic products as a better-for-you ingredient alternative. 

Premium Packaging for Staple Center Store Products

Beyond new products and ingredients, shelf-stable brands are also modernizing with new packaging. Bumble Bee, for example, launched a new seafood pouch last year with packaging that highlights the brand’s sustainability and health benefits. The bright color palette is also much bolder than what the brand was previously working with, and this fresh new look is an important tool for appealing to younger shoppers.


Consumers are demanding more from their favorite brands, and even shelf-stable brands have premium options that appeal to the modern shopper. From attractive design to ingredients that are fresh and trendy, the center store is quickly becoming synonymous with quality. 

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