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Q&A: Ready Pac Foods CMO on fall flavors and what makes a successful LTO

In this interview, Ready Pac Foods Chief Marketing Officer Tristan Simpson discusses the key to successful LTOs and the inspiration behind its Pumpkin Spice Bistro Bowl.

4 min read


Pumpkin Spice Bistro Bowl; Ready Pac Foods CMO on fall flavors and what makes a successful LTO

Ready Pac Foods

This post is sponsored by Ready Pac Foods.


Each new season brings a fresh opportunity for food manufacturers to entice consumers with limited-time offerings that feature trending ingredients and favorite seasonal flavors. As summer fades into fall, brands can capture the taste of the season with pumpkin, cranberries and warm spices.

We interviewed Ready Pac Foods Chief Marketing Officer Tristan Simpson on how the ever-popular pumpkin spice flavor profile inspired its newest LTO, the Pumpkin Spice Bistro Bowl.  She discusses how the company designs its seasonal offerings as well as what makes a successful LTO.

What makes a successful seasonal offering? How does Ready Pac Foods get a sense of what consumers are hungry for before coming up with a new round of LTOs?

The best seasonal offerings are those that satisfy the needs of consumers based on the tastes of the particular season, allowing them to experience the season with all of their senses. Our Consumer Insights and Culinary Teams look at larger flavor trends across the entire food industry to inspire our recipes. We test a wide range of ideas with consumers to better understand which are the most compelling and peak their interest to purchase.

For example, consumers are already looking for flavors of the fall season, like cornbread stuffing, pumpkin spice and roasted turkey. So, we created our Pumpkin Spice Bistro Bowl single-serve salad and our Autumn Harvest Complete Salad Kit that include many of these flavor profiles, both in very convenient formats.

How do you decide which LTOs become a part of the year-round lineup?

Market trends, successful sales performance and positive consumer feedback guide our decisions in creating lasting impressions over a seasonal timeframe. We tested our Pumpkin Spice Bistro Bowl last year in limited markets and the results were impressive, so we decided to launch this year with much broader national distribution as part of our rotating year-long LTO offerings.

Pumpkin spice has become a mainstay on fall menus, but it is mostly featured in desserts, hot beverages and other sweet items. How is Ready Pac Foods exploring the savory side of pumpkin spice with its fall LTOs?

Consumer moods and habits change as the seasons do. Consumers are looking for a taste of the season, which many times in the fall means a sweet or indulgent treat. Our Pumpkin Spice Bistro Bowl salad satisfies that craving, but in a healthier way by balancing the savory and sweet flavors of the season by pairing turkey, pumpkin seeds and a sweet and tangy pumpkin vinaigrette dressing with dates and raisins to deliver a salad that is truly inspired by the season.

Come fall, many consumers are looking to indulge at celebrations ranging from football tailgate parties to Thanksgiving dinner. How does Ready Pac Foods position its fall salads as celebration-worthy dishes?

When we look to create dishes that are worthy of celebrating, they must meet our standards for delighting consumers. Our two new fall salad offerings give consumers an indulgent autumn experience in a healthier, convenient way. Our R&D and Culinary Teams craft craveable, fresh options that are healthier to enjoy, but still delight in the flavors of the season. Our Pumpkin Spice Bistro Bowl is perfect for an on-the-go meal at a game, on a hike or as a special treat at your office. And our Autumn Harvest Complete Salad Kit makes a great side dish for fall dinner parties or at a tailgate party, and for a more satisfying, complete meal option in minutes, simply add roasted turkey.

Ready Pac Foods also offers a variety of fresh fruit and vegetable platters and family-sized salads and salad kits, all perfect for celebrating a favorite sports team while tailgating or a holiday get together. Visit for more information on all of our offerings.

As Chief Marketing Officer of Ready Pac Foods, Tristan Simpson leads the Innovation Team which includes the areas of the company that champion the brand — oversight of strategic initiatives within Marketing, Research & Development (R&D), Corporate Communications and Creative.


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