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Kiosk Markting Digital Splashscreen.png American Dining Creations
As the pandemic wore on and the demand for grab-and-go grew, American Dining Creations noticed that reheatable entreés were gaining momentum.

Boosting a leveled-up grab-and-go program with new branding

The My Fresh Market brand highlights American Dining Creations’ chef-inspired approach and expanded offerings.

Right before the pandemic, American Dining Creations upgraded its grab-and-go packaging, switching from a single large clamshell to higher-quality containers in a wider variety of shapes to make their sandwiches and salads more appealing. (Think triangle-shaped containers for cross-cut sandwiches.)

They had no way of knowing, of course, that grab-and-go would become an especially important part of the foodservice landscape over the next several years.

As the pandemic wore on and the demand for grab-and-go grew, they noticed that reheatable entreés were gaining momentum and that accounts were “migrating away from sandwiches and salads.”

“We quickly realized we could take the great food we make and make it grab-and-go,” says Nick Salvagni, vice president, marketing. The goal: to offer dine-in options as to-go options. “If we could do it in the café, why couldn’t we do it in grab-and-go?”

So the team started packaging café items as grab-and-gos for the many types of institutions they serve across the country. (Because their expansion capitalized on existing menu items, they didn’t need to source new ingredients or hire new staff.)  

The firm, which has accounts in 25 states, provides clients — including those in higher education; K-12 private and charter schools; business and industry; museum cafés and others — with full dining and refreshment services, including micro markets, where grab-and-go items are particularly popular.

Sample_Label.jpgPhoto credit: American Dining Creations

Photo: The new label design, created by their in-house marketing team, drew on farmers’ market imagery with green text in an informal font on brown paper. 

Some of their not-just-turkey-and-cheese-sandwich options include a salmon poke bowl, a curried chicken and green apple salad wrap, Buffalo mac and cheese, and a banh mi sandwich.

But there was a disconnect. Their plain white labels with black text didn’t communicate the fresh, chef-inspired story; the perception didn’t match the reality.

To reflect their focus on fresh preparation and the emphasis on regional, chef-driven menus, American Dining Creations started building the My Fresh Market brand last summer.

For the new label design, the in-house marketing team drew on farmers’ market imagery with green text in an informal font on brown paper with a subtle line drawing of a sandwich. In addition to the labels, they developed foamcore signs, shelf signs and slides, digital kiosk visuals, and more. The various pieces of collateral use terms such as “chef inspired,” “scratch-made,” “artisan,” “farm-fresh,” “savory homestyle,” and “freshly made” to communicate the intent of the brand.

They had a soft launch in November and a full brand rollout in February. Now they have a brand that completes the look they started to pursue when they upgraded their packaging.


During the pandemic, they started packaging dine-in options as to-go options. Photo shows a salmon poke bowl.

Almost all of their grab-and-go menu items at dining locations across the country, not in a single centralized location, though they have partnered with local production facilities and a newly built commissary in Kansas City to supplement some higher-volume areas. Other facilities are located in central Texas, St. Louis, central New York, Phoenix and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Each region has its own specialty and regional chefs are deeply involved in menu creation.

“The culinarians drive the program,” Salvagni says, noting that about 85 percent of the recipes they develop are created in the field. The food is “not being made in this tower in the city. It’s being created in places where they know how to do it best.”

They place a heavy emphasis on regional specialties based on suggestions from on-the-ground chefs in their facilities; Tex-Mex entreés are available in the Lone Star State; an Upstate NY Spiedie for accounts in the Northeast.By paying homage to local favorites, they aim to make it clear that items are not mass-produced and shipped across the country.

The company also creates vegetarian and vegan options — a sector that “appears to be an underserved market in the grab-and-go field.” In fact, they’ll focus on novelty in the program going forward, bringing customers unique choices in the grab-and-go case, always asking, “What will they never expect?”

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