Omaha Steaks Delivers for Gourmet Meal Service

A year after Omaha Steaks launched its prepared foods Website A La Zing, the food cataloger’s A La Zing unit has hooked up with Alexandria, VA-based frozen foods manufacturer Cuisine Solutions to create FiveLeaf.com. Launched in February, the Website sells frozen versions of meals created by chefs from prestigious restaurants.

Neither company would reveal the financial arrangement, but Omaha Steaks is handling the fulfillment and Web and phone orders for FiveLeaf.com. Omaha Steaks is also handling FiveLeaf’s creative, and the FiveLeaf Website is being hosted by the A La Zing site. Web users who type in the FiveLeaf.com address are automatically redirected to Omaha Steaks’ A La Zing site.

Cuisine Solutions brought together seven top chefs, including Daniel Boulud of New York’s Restaurant Daniel and Thomas Keller of The French Laundry in Yountville, CA. FiveLeaf’s product line consists of six appetizers and 13 entrees, which are flash-frozen in Cuisine Solutions’s Alexandria factory and shipped to Omaha Steaks’ fulfillment center in Omaha, NE. The frozen meals are packaged in sealed bags that customers simply drop in boiling water to heat. “We wanted to make it very convenient for customers to have fully prepared and fully cooked entrees from these prestigious restaurants at home,” says Francoise Perrier-Madani, vice president of marketing for FiveLeaf.

Omaha Steaks will also produce an eight-page catalog for FiveLeaf this April that will be used as a package insert and for catalog requests, says Ann Zimmer Colony, A La Zing’s brand manager. The company was planning to begin testing an offer in a direct mail package to a list of prospects mid-March. “Based on results,” Colony says, “we’ll consider additional campaigns for direct mail and/or mass catalog mailings.”

After launching A La Zing as a spin-off Web business in February 2001, Omaha Steaks in June printed 10,000 copies of an eight-page catalog just for package insert and requesters. Colony says the piece resembles a menu rather than a catalog, though it includes the toll-free ordering number and Website address. The company plans to begin distributing a 16-page redesigned A La Zing catalog in mid-April, but the book will continue to function as a support piece to the Website and not as a mass-mailed catalog, Colony says.

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