ConAgra Cooks Up New Healthy Choice Varieties

ConAgra Foods has expanded its Healthy Choice line with 11 fresh varieties, and to promote the products, the food giant is running a TV spot starring actresses Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld) and Jane Lynch (Glee).

The new varieties have been added to the Healthy Choice Café Steamers line, All Natural Entrees line, and the Asian-inspired Café Steamers line. Select Entrees, another sub-brand under the Healthy Choice portfolio, will also carry new varieties.

In addition to the TV spot, ConAgra is supporting the launch with print—running in consumer books this month—and online ads, including various plugs for the entrees in its newly launched “What’s So Funny?” branded entertainment channel, in partnership with Yahoo.

Print ads, such as the one for Chicken Pad Thai Café Steamers, target consumers seeking both health and convenience. The entree is “made with the best olive oil, whole grain noodles and a perfect blend of ginger, garlic and curry so you know that it doesn’t just taste good. It’s good for you,” the ad copy says.

“We know our consumer is constantly searching for foods that fuel her healthy lifestyle and deliver the freshness and flavor she craves. Given how well our innovations meet and exceed her expectations, extending Café Steamers into [cuisines like] Mediterranean-inspired [meals] makes sense for us,” said Carlos Veraza, vp and general manager of the frozen division at ConAgra Foods.

Sapient Nitro handled creative duties, while Bridge Worldwide, Mediacom, GW Hoffman and Ketchum managed digital, media buying, consumer promotions/PR and social media, respectively.

ConAgra Foods’ ad spending on Healthy Choice dropped from $16 million in 2008 to $7 million through the first 11 months of last year, excluding online, per the Nielsen Co.