There have been glimmers of life in the industry. Smaller upstart brands have connected with customers looking for healthier ingredients. Saffron Road, a line of halal-certified meals, has been one of the fastest-growing products at Whole Foods Market in recent years.
Amy’s Kitchen, made with natural and organic products, have seen sales surge
more than 75 percent in the last seven years to roughly $319 million. And Pinnacle
Foods Inc. has had success with its Evol and Gardein lines, brands the company acquired in recent years that offer vegan and gluten-free options.
B&G and Kraft Heinz have watched and learned. B&G is wooing millennials with frozen “veggie tots’’ with broccoli and cauliflower. Kraft Heinz’s Devour line includes recipes like white cheddar mac and cheese with bacon, pulled-chicken burrito bowls and pesto ravioli with spicy Italian sausage -- the kind of fare one might savor at the Bonnaroo music festival or on the street across from a college campus.