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Frozen Crock Pot Meals: Why They’re Gone, The Answer from ConAgra

September 27, 2013 – After three years and 212 comments, most of which are now calls to bring these meals back, I’m closing comments simply because ConAgra no longer seems to be paying attention anyway. Sorry folks, we did what we could. Your best bet would probably be the Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook by Phyllis Pellman Good.

November 10, 2011 – Over a year after first posting this entry, and with a community developing around the desire for these products based on this blog post, progress appears to have finally been made. Reader Sean posted the following comment this morning, so there may be hope:

  • Sean
    November 10, 2011 at 7:40 am
    YAY!Dear Mr. Grigg,Thank you for your email concerning our Banquet Crock Pot Classics. While these meals were discontinued, we do have two new meals out that I think you would enjoy. Shipping the end of this month to Walmart stores only are the following:Banquet Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast 44oz UPC 3100010039
    Banquet Slow Cooker Meals Chicken & Dumplings 41.5oz UPC 3100010040

    Your comments are extremely valuable, and they help us make the food you love even better.
    Thanks again for your feedback. We really are listening!

    Sincerely,
    Teri
    Consumer Affairs Representative
    ConAgra Foods

 Here’s the original post …

On October 5th I posted about my frustration in trying to locate a simple bag of either Banquet Crock-Pot Classics or Marie Callender’s Crock-Pot Meals & Soups, both from ConAgra Foods.

In an email yesterday, I received an official answer from ConAgra Consumer Affairs:

October 23, 2010

Dear Mr. Liske,

Thank you for contacting us. We are always pleased to hear from our consumers but are sorry to inform you that we no longer produce Banquet® or Marie Callender’s Pot Roast Crock Pot Classic.

As consumers’ preferences for products change, so do the varieties of our products. Only the products with the greatest consumer appeal remain on the store shelves over time. Unfortunately, this product did not have enough consumer interest for us to continue manufacturing it. We invite you to try some of our other products, such as Chef Boyardee, Orville Redenbacher’s, Healthy Choice and many more.

Thanks again for your feedback. We’re listening!

Sincerely,
Brice
Consumer Affairs

So that’s the end of these products, at least for now. I know this email is probably a template that Brice filled in the information for. However, “Chef Boyardee, Orville Redenbacher’s, Healthy Choice and many more” are not suitable replacement products. A couple #10 cans of Chef Boyardee ravioli in a crock pot. Yeah, right …

The end result is that this is now an untapped market. I’ve been in stores recently, and crock pots seem to be more visible now. So while the Banquet Crock-Pot Classics weren’t quite as good as the Marie Callender’s Crock-Pot Meals & Soups, the fact is if these kinds of products were developed better and were closer in quality to what can be done from scratch the results might be more popular in the long haul.

212 comments to Frozen Crock Pot Meals: Why They’re Gone, The Answer from ConAgra

  • Pat B

    Here is the reply I received to my latest ConAgra email:
    (The message is–keep contacting ConAgra. Maybe if enough do, they will reconsider.

    Dear Mrs. Bumpus,

    Thank you for contacting us. We are always pleased to hear from our consumers but as you know, we no longer produce Banquet Crock Pot Classics. I will let others in our company know of your interest in their return. We do not produce anything similar to recommend to you at this time. You might want to try our Banquet Family size entrees.

    I’m sorry if it seemed as though you were not receiving a personalized response when we recommended our other products. We understand these are not what you are looking for, but want you to be aware of all that we do have available in our company.

    Thanks again for your feedback. We’re listening!

    Sincerely,

    Teri
    Consumer Affairs Representative
    ConAgra Foods
    Case: 60500079

  • Denise B

    Looks like nothing anyone in here can say to bring back these great crockpot meals? I know that they still sell the pot pies? At 88 cent per pie…………And seen them almost out at my local Super Walmart store!!!! And the same with their tv dinners so don’t give me the BS about people not wanting them………….Marie Calenders are more expensive and to me not as good!!!! So Bringem back!!!!!

  • Of course I’ve been watching these conversations as all your responses go through the moderation queue. The question I have now is this: Is it possible a different company might pick up the slack? For example, while Crock-Pot® themselves offer recipes on their web site, might it be possible to talk them into farming out production of frozen meals for their cookers? What about Hamilton-Beach®? I’m just saying, let’s start thinking outside the box a little more, trying to figure out a solution that doesn’t involve ConAgra, and maybe we’ll actually get somewhere.

  • Bonnie

    Hey great idea Dave! Maybe Stouffer’s would make these “crock-pot” meals for us all. We just tried their EASY EXPRESS “beef stew” in a skillet. It was VERY tasty and tender, just not enough to feed more than 2 people.
    Let’s not involve ConAgra. maybe when we all don’t buy any of their products (boycott them) maybe they’ll consider bringing back the “crock-pot classics”. We used the crock pot classics so much, great for a family of 4 on a busy schedule: full time jobs, sports and afterschool activities doesn’t leave much time to slave over a stove all day.

  • No, I’d rather not see any kind of “boycott”. Those things only end up hurting the workers, as they get laid off while the salaried personnel still get paid. Never makes any sense …

    Let’s just find someone. Stouffer’s might be a good choice, I agree.

  • Pat B

    I just ck’d ConAgra’s product lines, and Stouffer’s is not among them! Yea! Stouffer’s is into instant stir-fry dinners, so whether they would expand to crock pot dinners is debatable but it wouldn’t hurt to approach them with the idea. Marketing is the key. No marketing, no sales.

  • B.C.

    The crock pot meals are very good for busy people and the disabled.
    There are great number of people that have a hard time in the kitchen.
    These Crock Pot meals are a great help to the disabled.
    They really don’t have to do anything. Just add water and season
    packet. They were a big help for people that are in wheel chairs.
    They could put the crock pot any where so they could reach it safely.
    I hope you will think about making them again.
    It would make a lot of people lives easier.

  • J.B.

    I was not aware until this weekend that the crock pot meals were no longer available. My local market (HEB) no longer carries this item and when I asked a store clerk where they were, I was informed that the store no longer carried this item. Are they nuts??? I bought them weekly through out the winter as they were the perfect meal.

    I hope someone comes out with this item again.

  • Sean

    I agree here – I used to get the Banquet meals often. I would make 2 bags of the chicken-n-dumplings for my office work group. They LOVED it! Now what – bleh!

  • Sean

    YAY!
    Dear Mr. Grigg,
    Thank you for your email concerning our Banquet Crock Pot Classics. While these meals were discontinued, we do have two new meals out that I think you would enjoy. Shipping the end of this month to Walmart stores only are the following:

    Banquet Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast 44oz UPC 3100010039
    Banquet Slow Cooker Meals Chicken & Dumplings 41.5oz UPC 3100010040

    Your comments are extremely valuable, and they help us make the food you love even better.

    Thanks again for your feedback. We really are listening!

    Sincerely,
    Teri
    Consumer Affairs Representative
    ConAgra Foods

  • Pat B

    Halleluia!!! I’m heading to WalMart on Dec 1 to see if it’s real!

  • Pat B

    PS: Tell your friends to buy, buy, buy them too! We can influence the market ourselves and not let Con Agra be disappointed in the popularity of these dinners.

  • Doug

    I really hope this is true! I’ll pick up a few and let everyone I know how good they are and to go get them. Let’s hope they stock every Wal-Mart store!

  • Lloyd

    All Wal-Mart Stores?

  • Pat B

    Dunno, but I’m hoping……

  • B.C.

    Why are you not putting them in all stores? Is Wall-Mart a test market?
    I would like to see them in ShopRite markets and other stores.

    Thanks,

  • Collette

    That is awesome news!!! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful news! I am definitely going to buy a lot of this product and recommend them to everyone I know. I sure hope the meals are promoted by the company this time!

  • Bonnie

    This is great news!! I’m also heading to walmart on Dec 1st. Looking forward to getting these dinners again. They also picked our 2 favorite meals =). Crock pot cooking has become much more popular with so many busy lives, and so I bet these meals will “catch on” to meet Con Agra’s sales needed to continue them, and maybe even expand the line. A great promotion would be the little “taste test” stand/booth in the stores,(you know, where a person stands there giving out samples) next to the freezer section, with crock pot of warm stew for people to smell & taste test. They could have stacks of crock pot meals behind them in the freezer and the crock pots next to the person, just to have handy if a person needs one…gee just in time for Christmas, what a GREAT IDEA!
    Once I confirm they are in our Walmart…I will SREAD THE WORD!

  • Kathy Ensworth

    This is great news, although from the link it appears our Walmart will not be carrying the items. :(

  • I would caution anyone against trying to determine which store will be carrying these products until at least December 1, 2011. The site may be reflecting current stock levels, which will always be zero till then.

  • Leona Jones

    Really miss the crockpot meals, they were delicious and for someone who works nights sure made dinner for the family easier. Come on bring them back especially yankee pot roast and chicken and dumplings

  • B.C.

    Leona:

    So do I. I would like see them in all food stores.
    I think they make a big come back after being missed all this time!

  • Rick

    They’re baaaaaaaaack!!!
    Went to my local Walmart Neighborhood Grocery (here in West Palm Beach, FL) this evening (12/9/2011), and lo and behold, Walmart had Banquet Slow Cooker Meals in the “front” freezer (where they put “new” or featured frozen items)!! So, as reported by others, they have been renamed; no longer “Crock Pot Classics”, now “Slow Cooker Meals”. Both the Chicken and Dumplings, and Beef Pot Roast (with potatoes and vegetables) were in the freezer. Sells here for $6.98; claims to feed 5. Today I bought the Beef Pot Roast; I’ll pick up the Chicken and Dumplings once I get some freezer space back after Christmas!

    This was a total (pleasant!) surprise for me because I had not looked at this website since October or so. And it just so happened that I went to Walmart and walked around the freezers this evening and saw them there! So, it looks like all of your comments asking Banquet to bring ‘em back worked!!! Congratulations!!! Now, let’s buy, buy, buy throughout the winter!

  • Great. I’m so glad they are back. My husband went to the store (walmart) and returned with 2 of the chicken and dumplings frozen banquet dinners. After calling my mother to tell her the good news we went back to the store and they were already sold out. I hope they start stocking more–my husband said there were at least 15-20 bags just 45 minutes ago.

  • Doug

    They haven’t made it to Santa Fe, NM yet. I stopped at the big new Walmart there and no luck. Hopefully they’ll start stocking them in all the stores.

    Does anyone know if any other stores are carrying them?

  • Carol

    Aaaaand of course, Walmart sold out in one week and hasn’t had them since! Just a flash in the … crock-pot I guess.

  • jan

    these dinners never made it to Southern Maryland !!! I am beyond disappointed !!!

  • Doug

    The still are not in Las Vegas, NM or Santa Fe, NM!!!!!

  • Pat B

    I guess you just gotta nag, nag, nag your local Walmart manager bcs they can control their stock. Interesting that when they are all sold out in a fairly short period, they aren’t restocked. We have 3 nearby WM stores and 2 have them and one doesn’t. Nag, nag, nag–or maybe whine, whine, whine. Maybe another message to Con Agra letting them know that not every WM stocks them.

  • WM in and around Lynchburg,VA (3 stores) aslso does not carry them yet. This is disgustig!!

  • I have checked with all 3 WM’s in the area and they have already deleted the Bnaquet Slow Cooker meals. This is unbelivable since most people don’t even know that they are back yet.
    Alice P´s last blog post ..2012 Michigan/Ontario Muskrat Dinner Events

  • There are none being carried by WM’s within a 50 mile radious according to the WM website. This is unbelievable!

  • Grandma Judy

    Sure hope these are in TN…LOVED these…we are in FL now, will look for them.

  • Niki

    I was justin FoodLion…Walking up and down looking for the frozen Chicken & Dumplings. I AM SO MAD TO FIND THAT THEY ARE NOT MAKING THIS ANYMORE!!!!

  • TERESA

    I have been looking for the Chicken & Dumpling forever! Now I come accross here and find out that they discontinued the crock pot classics all together. This had become our Sunday classic family meal. Less time in the kitchen ment more family time and it was the only thing all the kids liked. I am totally jaded :(

  • TERESA

    JUST CHECKED MY LOCAL WM STORES, NOT AVAILABLE!!!!! PEOPLE IN AZ LIKE CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS TOO !

  • Pat B

    Looks like we all have to get back to Con Agra–and maybe WalMart HQ in Arkansas–about stocking the dinners more broadly in Walmart stores all over.

  • Collette

    I found three roast beef meals at the local Wal Mart and bought them all. The chicken and dumpling meals were sold out. The cashier asked me if the meals are good, so I told her how good they are. She said she would talk to the purchasing person for the frozen food section. Hopefully the meals will continue to be stocked. I agree we all need to contact Con Agra again. I saved my UPC code from the one package I’ve already prepared so I’ll have that information when I write Con Agra.

  • Michael

    They are not in Atlanta area Walmarts – nor Publix. Been searching high and low.

  • Liz Perry

    Not sold in any stores here in ct or most of new england for that matter :(

  • Deanna

    I bought a Banquet Chicken and Dumplings Crockpot Classic at our little neighborhood Walmart about a month ago. Went back after another – notta. I’ve checked 3 super Walmarts – none to be found. I spoke with a manager who said he would check into getting more. I hope he follows through. This is from Mesa, AZ.

  • John

    This is great I always liked these dinners. I went to Walmart the first time and looked and purchased one, Then a week later I went to buy another and they were out. Then in another week I purchased 2 more. I hope they keep these around this time. The stocking person at the store said they were an item that was selling well and that is why they were out on more than 1 occasion.

  • B. J. Smith

    I too have gone to Walmart for the crock pot meals by Banquet. I was lucky to try both the beef pot roast and the chicken and dumpling. They were wonderful. Taste great and easy to fix and priced right. Went back to Walmart and they are not getting them. Why is it when you find something you like they take it off the market. Come on if you bring them back more people will try them and like me will hurry back to get my frig. packed with them. I think they are one of your best products.

  • Pat B

    The dinners are definitely not off the market–just varies from store manager to store manager, I think. We have 2 WM’s within 5 minutes of home, and one carries them and the other doesn’t. Go figure. It also seems as if they are only being marketed in certain parts of the country, judging from feedback on this site. I’m on the Texas Gulf coast. We found them in northeast TX in our travels last wk. I’ll ck with my brother in Ohio.

  • KJS

    I checked at my local Wal-Mart on Feb. 20th, they do not have the new products. Very disappointed, I have been looking foe the Classic Chicken and Dumplings for so long, I use to buy it all the time. Decided to check on line and saw note that the new product would be at Wal-Mart at the end of Nov/2011. Not So. Will any other markets be carrying the new product (Like Jewel, Dominicks, Food 4 less, etc.)?

  • pat and gyn

    My sister in law and i were just talking about how wonderful the meals were and how we wondered what had happened to them. I felt the meals were delicious and easy to prepare. I cannot believe they pulled them from the shelves due to lack of consumer interest. When i would get them at Walmart they seemed to be a quick seller as they were usually out of one or the other. The chicken and dumplings were excellent, i even liked the spaghetti and meatballs-and i’m italian! So far no other product has come close!

  • Pat B

    Wow! I never knew there used to be a spaghetti and meatballs option. We were so focused on the pot roast and the chicken and dumplings that I never noticed the others.
    I’m really sorry the re-issues are not available everywhere. Maybe each WM manager gets to pick his/her own stock depending on what the profit margin is. Thank goodness the TX Gulf coast is among the blessed.

  • Mary

    I believe if these products were marketed right sales would have been better. It was so convienent to put in crock pot in the morning go to work when I got home had a good meal to put on the table for the family. Easier and healthier than fast food and after 8 long hours at work was nice to come home and dinner was ready. My family love both the pot roast and chicken and dumplins. Really think should reconsider making them and use better marketing stratagy. I had heard of them from a friend never saw a commercial about it. Commercials sells products.

  • Pat B

    What is wrong with ConAgra! A little advertising goes a loooong way.