Kitchens of Sara Lee founder Charles Lubin transformed the dessert category in 1953 when he developed an innovative formula and process for freezing cheesecake. The frozen dessert enabled mass distribution to retailers and brought a new level of convenience to American households. Today, as Sara Lee Frozen Bakery, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., the company offers an updated take on the product with the introduction of Sara’s Selections Mini Cheesecakes in Peel & Plate cups.
To keep the bakery’s cheesecake in line with modern consumer demands, Sara Lee Frozen Bakery focused on portion control and packaging.
“We saw a trend in packaged food toward smaller and individual-sized items in response to how consumers have evolved their eating behavior,” said Carina Sarbaugh, director, retail marketing, Sara Lee Frozen Bakery. “As households became smaller and snacking, as opposed to traditional sit-down meals, became a more rooted behavior, we knew that making our desserts ‘snackable’ was the direction we should head in.”
Each 12-oz box of mini cheesecakes includes four individually packaged desserts that can be eaten at home or packed in a lunch to-go. Before eating, consumers must remove the cheesecake from its Peel & Plate cup and place it on a plate to thaw in the refrigerator for one to two hours. The dessert can be refrigerated for up to four days if it is covered with plastic wrap.
“While other single-serve cheesecake options in the marketplace are in a sliced format, these Sara’s Selections mini cheesecakes are made from the start in a single portion,” Ms. Sarbaugh explained. “The Peel & Plate cup allows for consumers to take and enjoy a cheesecake experience wherever they choose.”
Ryan Malone, chief marketing officer, Sara Lee Frozen Bakery, added that the new packaging alleviates some food safety concerns consumers may have as the individually wrapped portions provide a low-contact, safe treat.
Sara’s Selections Mini Cheesecakes are available in Caramel, Strawberry and Creamy Classic varieties. And while these cheesecakes are smaller than the original product introduced more than 60 years ago, Ms. Sarbaugh said they still follow the time-honored recipes and processes developed by the bakery.
“These items are targeted to appeal to cheesecake lovers across generations, with the individual portion and portability benefits additionally appealing to younger consumers who have historically had lower levels of participation in the frozen dessert category,” Ms. Sarbaugh explained. “Our expectation is that mini cheesecakes help us expand penetration with younger households and bring excitement to the frozen dessert aisle.”