New Orleans-based Naked Pizza jumped into the frozen pizza market in October and has teamed up with Sunflower Farmers Market to sell the new line.
The concept of Frozen Naked Pizza was created by Denver entrepreneur Gay Burke.
Burke, who has experience in the consumer product industry, first heard about the Naked Pizza brand after reading a New York Times Magazine article in 2009. Her vision was to launch a frozen pizza so that the Naked Pizza product could reach a broader market.
"It is a natural fit for our brand and mission to expand from take-out and delivery pizza to frozen pizza available at grocery. It makes us more accessible to consumers who care about what they eat and pizza lovers everywhere," said Robbie Vitrano, co-founder and chief brand architect of Naked Pizza.
Frozen Naked Pizza hit the store shelves in all 35 Sunflower Farmers Markets in October. The line includes the same food ingredients found in the original Naked Pizza offerings, such as an Ancestral Blend crust with 10 grains and seeds, 100 percent premium mozzarella cheese and all-natural vegetables.
Vitrano said the partnership with Sunflower is still in the pilot phase.
"(Sunflower Farmers Markets) is a terrific regional natural grocer, giving us the opportunity to talk to people and see what they think pre- and post-purchase," he said, adding that it's received a "big thumbs up" thus far.
The company has also expanded the rollout. Naked Pizza announced on its Facebook page this week that grocers in California, Colorado and Utah are adding the frozen line. They include:
Lancaster, The Whole Wheatery
Arroyo Grande, Grande Foods Market
Paso Robles, Paso Robles Health Food
San Luis Obispo and Solvang, New Frontiers Natural Marketplace
Durango, Nature's Oasis
Riverdale, Good Earth
Naked Pizza also recently began offering a Daiya premium cheese alternative in select locations.
At the recent ICR XChange, a restaurant and retail investment conference, the growth of supplemental sales opportunities through licensing and retail offerings was predicted in the restaurant industry specifically.
Read more about food and beverage launches.