Supervalu has a lot riding on its new Quick & Easy line of grab and go items. Cub Foods is playing catch-up with Hy-Vee, which came to the Twin Cities in 2015 with a smorgasbord of already prepared foods. From the kaleidoscopic wall of cut fruits and vegetables to meals-in-a-bag, many of Hy-Vee's time-starved consumers were impressed.
In fact, Hy-Vee is going to continue to expand its grab and go even more, according to Hy-Vee's Chairman and Chief Executive Randy Edeker. "I just got a new lifestyle report on millennials and it's how they're shopping. We change with them," he said when he opened a new store in Cottage Grove last month.
Cub Foods did a soft launch of its Quick & Easy menu last month, but the big introduction is going on now in all stores. Everything in the Quick & Easy line is discounted 25 percent through Wednesday, Sept. 27.
I tried several of Cub's Quick & Easy entrees over the weekend: 1. Boneless, skinless chicken breast with spicy soy ginger and green beans in a steamable bag, 2.Salmon fillet with butter, lemon and broccoli in a steamable bag, and 3. Meatballs with mashed potatoes and gravy.
My overall assessment? Nicely done, Cub. The chicken breast portion was not large but at only $3.07 minus 25%, it was cheaper and healthier than a fast food restaurant. And the spicy ginger flavor? Fantastic. The cleanup? Hardly any because you cook it in the steam bag in the microwave or oven.
Meatballs: Moist and flavorful. Better than Ikea's, in my opinion. The mashed potatoes did not taste like instant, and I'm assuming they weren't.
Salmon fillet with butter and broccoli: First, my bias. I only like salmon that's had a lot of other stuff added to disguise the taste of, well, salmon. We use cedar planks on the grill and marinate in soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic. Cub's version had none of those spices, so I was not surprised that I was disappointed. With a sealed steamable bag I couldn't add any spices before cooking. I added salt and pepper on the plate and that helped more than the cut lemon that I squeezed over it. The broccoli was fine. On the positive side, the salmon was not dry and overcooked like it can be in some restaurants. Cub's recommended oven times did not overcook it.
I plan to buy more of the Quick & Easy selections before the sale ends on Wednesday. Be careful to look for items labeled "Quick & Easy." Some items in the deli not labeled may not be part of sale.There are hundreds of grab and go selections, but they're mixed in the produce, deli, bakery and meat departments. I found it difficult to find the Quick & Easy choices since I had to look in four different areas.
If you've tried Cub's or Hy-Vee's grab-n-go selections, what's your assessment? .