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SOPAKCO Launches Kathryn's Kitchen(TM), a New Line of Shelf-Stable Heat-and-Serve Meals



MULLINS, S.C. - Frozen meals used to be the height of convenience-just five minutes from microwave to mouth. Today's consumers continue to clamor for convenience and have raised the bar yet again, leading South Carolina-based SOPAKCO to introduce a new line of shelf-stable, heat-and-serve meals under the brand Kathryn's Kitchen(TM).

The Kathryn's Kitchen line includes two package formats: semi-rigid plastic bowls and retort pouches. The Kathryn's Kitchen Meals in Minutes single-serve entrees are available in 10-ounce (283g) thermoformed microwavable bowls. Meals in Minutes are available in a wide variety of SKUs, including: Chunky Beef Stew, Chicken Alfredo with Penne Pasta, Grilled Salisbury Steak in Gravy with Sliced Potatoes, and Spaghetti with Meat Sauce.

Kathryn's Kitchen offerings in retort pouches include Tater Toppings(TM) and Rice Delights. The Tater Toppings are available in six-ounce (170g), stand-up retort pouches with a "cool grip" handle that makes for easy pouring. The Tater Toppings SKUs include Creamy Cheese and Bacon, Chili and Jalapeno Cheddar. Kathryn's Kitchen Rice Delights are available in 8.8-ounce (250g) 145mm x 185mm stand-up retort pouches and include SKUs such as: Hearty Brown Rice, Roasted Chicken Rice, Spanish-style Rice, and Long Grain White & Wild Rice. The non-foil pouches are designed for microwave oven use once the top is torn away for venting purposes.

Perry Jowers, SOPAKCO vice president of Sales and Marketing, says the Kathryn's Kitchen shelf-stable, heat-and-serve lines is a lifestyle meal product, offering consumers meal solutions that fit the way they live. "We're meeting the changing dining demands of today's consumers. For working people and on-the-go students, Kathryn's Kitchen entrees are portable without the hassle of needing refrigeration. They have a shelf life of a year so can be stored in a desk or locker until mealtime. Finally, they're ready to eat in 90 seconds. What student or working adult doesn't like that? Kathryn's Kitchen meals and side dishes are also ideal for seniors and singles looking for a portion-controlled foods that are delicious and require very little in terms of preparation; simply heat and eat."

Kathryn's Kitchen packaging is designed to maximize shelf impact. The thermoformed bowls, supplied by Rexam, are finished with a printed die-cut over-sleeve designed to stand up on the shelf rather than lay flat. Supplied by Atlantic Corporation, the sleeve graphics bring the meal inside alive via eight-color, litho-printing. A microwave oven graphic clearly positions the product to those looking for a meal on the go. The three-ply, non-foil stand-up retort pouches supplied by Majestic Packaging feature eight-color rotogravure printing of the toppings and sides contained in the package.

The Kathryn's Kitchen entrees are priced to entice. Says Jowers, "At $1.99-$2.99 per meal, a Kathryn's Kitchen meal is less than a fast food combo-perfect for those who are budget conscious, yet looking for a more nutritious option."

SOPAKCO's Kathryn's Kitchen line of shelf-stable, heat-and-serve meals and side dishes will be available at super markets, mass merchants, and dollar stores across the United States. The line also is available to private label, which allows retailers and others a quick market entry without a capital investment of their own.

For more than 40 years, SOPAKCO has been a leading retort food processor, experience that encompasses pouches, bowls and trays. The company recently opened a multi-million dollar, 200,000-square-foot production facility in South Carolina, which features state-of-the-art food processing and packaging technology along with the latest in recipe formulation and testing. By offering a turnkey solution, SOPAKCO makes it easy for those seeking to enter this lucrative market. A virtual tour of the new plant is available at www.SOPAKCO.com.

SOPAKCO's shelf-stable meals and side dishes also are suitable for camping, hunting, and other outdoor adventures. They also are an option for emergency provisions.

About SOPAKCO, Inc.

Headquartered in South Carolina, SOPAKCO is a world leader in the design, processing, and packaging of processed foods using traditional and emerging packaging technologies. The Company is a preferred partner to the U.S. military (MREs) as well as many major international food companies. Visit www.sopakco.com for more information.

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