Add Pizzazz with Hokto Mushrooms

Frozen dinners have come a long way since the ‘50s. Today, with the increased use of microwave ovens and less time spent stove cooking, frozen dinners have become a large part our dinner meal time. According to a Harris Interactive online survey, each American chills out with six frozen meals per month. Research by the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) reports that over $4.5 billion is spent on frozen meals per year, mostly because consumers want convenience and prefer to eat dinner at home after a busy week. Summer excursions and back-to-school shopping trips cut further into dinner prep time, resulting in even less time spent on meal planning and cooking and increased spending on frozen entrees and pizza.

Fun Facts:

1. Each man, woman and child in America eats an average of 46 slices (23 pounds) of pizza a year.

2. Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza each day, or 350 slices per second.

3. Kids between the ages of 3 to 11 prefer pizza over all other food groups for lunch and dinner.

Convenience comes with a price- less flavor, more sodium and fat, often less nutritious –not what consumers SAY they want.  According to a survey by American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), 27 percent choose frozen entrees for it’s ease of preparation, 26 percent vote for variety, 22 percent choose taste, 18 percent believe it’s product performance and quality after preparation and for 7 percent it’s nutrition. So, while frozen meals are popular – they fall short in certain categories of what consumers really want.

Hokto mushrooms are the perfect solution to ho hum, boring, frozen entree meals. Add pizzazz and freshness to pre-cooked, frozen meal-in-a bag dinners by tossing in ANY of the Hokto mushroom varieties. The mushrooms are quick and easy to prepare – only takes a minute to slice off the base and begin a delicious stir-fry. Or add mushrooms as a special pizza topping. Adding the fresh mushroom to frozen meals contributes flavor in a big way and nutrition to boot. With less than 45 calories per package, the mushrooms are big on flavor and nutrition, and low in fat and sodium.

The White and Brown Beech mushrooms contribute visual interest if kept whole or slice the Maitake and King Trumpet for a change of pace. The result is increased interest, variety and of course, umami, that savory flavor that only mushrooms uniquely provide.

The increased nutritional value and taste, along with the convenience of a quick, home-cooked meal is in line with 2010 food trends and what consumers want — renewed emphasis on premium food with homemade freshness, natural/organic ingredients and “better-for-you” entrees catering to the needs of time-crunched families.

Hokto mushrooms are a perfect fit as a compliment to frozen meals, whether it’s a pizza or stir-fry.  The mushrooms add intense flavor and freshness, nutrition and are extremely easy to cook, giving Americans want they want in a meal so there’s more time to enjoy the summer fun.