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Lifestyle Foods looks to fill need for healthy grab-and-go items

by Joel Gebet | March 25, 2010
YORK, PA -- Oprah Winfrey would call it an "aha!" moment for Jason Bross. While on a trip to Australia several years ago, Mr. Bross visited a firm that was offering a line of salads that he termed "innovative."

"I felt there was an opening in the market here," Mr. Bross told The Produce News.

Utilizing his experience in the prepared food industry, he founded Lifestyle Foods in 2005. In five years, the firm, based in this small central Pennsylvania city, has grown to offer a lineup of about 20 healthy grab-and-go items that includes four side salads, five entrée salads, four snacks and a lunch kit.

Mr. Bross, who is president and chief executive officer of Lifestyle Foods, said that the line has found success "wherever there is foot traffic where consumers are eating healthy and are on the go, such as airports, colleges and hospitals."

In addition to marketing chilled, healthy, grab-and-go food products, what sets Lifestyle Foods' offerings apart from the competition is sleek packaging with modern graphics.

"Our packaging and marketing differentiates us [because] the contour fits in the consumer's hand, and the look is very clean," he said, adding that the firm is using recycled food-grade plastic for its packaging, which also is the easiest to recycle.

Many of its products have health, exercise and nutrition tips under their labels, Mr. Bross said, noting that the components of its entrée salads and snacks are individually sealed in compartments, which helps to keep the ingredients fresh and safe.

Its side salads are packaged with a fork, increasing the convenience factor of the products, he added.

Lifestyle Foods' newest offering is "Just Chillin," which is a two-ounce package of sliced apples that, like most of its produce offerings, are locally sourced whenever possible.

The firm currently ships up and down the East Coast, and Mr. Bross said that he is looking to expand the firm's presence in the Northeast.