During the finale of Supermarket Superstar, a new vendor was chosen for A&P Markets and their affiliates.The competition started out with winners in nine categories which included entrees, snacks, sauces and more. Instead of having a showdown between the individual winners, however, the show let each of the three mentors choose their favorite food among the various categories. Those were the only ones to compete in the finale.
Debbi Fields of Mrs. Fields Cookies chose a housewife named Jen who invented Red Sauce 101. According to her, the delicious tomato-based sauce could be used for making at least 101 different dishes.
Chef Michael Chiarello chose food truck vendor Dominic. He thought Dominic’s fusion of Asian and Mexican cooking was inspired. His product, the Chimale, represented where Chino met Latino. The question was: Would the American public get it?
Chris Cornyn went for housewife Tekisha’s sweet treat—the Smoogy. It was a cross between cheesecake and a cookie in a refrigerated ice cream sandwich form. Would America risk the calories for a lucious new dessert?
To eliminate the first contestant, the three competitors took to the A&P market floors to let customers taste test their products. Dominic seemed confident going in that he could draw people to his booth. He started off slowly but eventually drew the crowd he needed. Most people liked the taste of the product but a few admitted it wouldn’t be on their dinner table regularly.
Tekisha had no problems with her sweet treat. Consumers swarmed her booth to taste test her dessert. Most fell in love at first bite. However, there were questions about the nutritional value of the product and many people felt they couldn’t afford to indulge in the dish very often.
Jen struggled to gain attention for her Red Sauce 101. However, the people who tasted her sauce thought she could deliver on her promise that 101 different meal options. Sadly, many felt the product was something they’d seen before.
The product that made the least number of sales was Jen’s Red Sauce 101. Sadly, she was told the show would not be developing her product any further. Winning her category still gave her $100,000 worth of product development to use to try and convince other supermarkets to carry the product.
New Product Development
Before Dominic and Tekisha made a pitch to A&P CEO, Sam Martin, they were tasked with developing the second product in their brand line. Dominic chose a BBQ Pork Chimale while Tekisha favored a Strawberry Cheesecake Smoogy.
The mentors weren’t impressed with Tekisha’s choice. Instead, they urged her to do something with chocolate. Eventually she acquiesced, coming up with a Chocolate Chip Smoogy.
The mentors warned Dominic to keep his Asian and Mexican flavors in tune. They worried that combining them the wrong way might muddy the very thing that made his product unique.
The contestants were given 90 minutes in the test kitchen to come up with their new products. Both struggled slightly but for different reasons. Dominic needed to braise his pork shoulder; a process that usually took days. Chef Chiarello and Andrew Hunter gave him some shortcuts to use to get where he needed to be within the set time frame. Would they work?
Tekisha waffled between milk chocolate and dark chocolate for her new Smoogy. Ultimately, she went with the current favorite—dark chocolate. However, quick freezing her product proved challenging. She had to use a dry ice process she’d never used before.
The A&P Pitch
Once the products were done, the competitors made their individual pitches to A&P CEO, Sam Martin. Dominic went first, presenting both versions of his Chimales.
Martin liked the taste of the product. However, he pointed out that distribution of the meat sauce inside the tamale was uneven. That worried him. He also wondered if the American public would “get” the Chimale.
Tekisha presented both her Lemon and Chocolate Chip Smoogys next. She was nervous but enthusiastic about her products.
Martin admitted up front that he wasn’t fond of cheese cake. On the other hand, he told Tekisha she’d converted him. He was in love with the Smoogy.
So which product was right for A&P? The contestants had to wait all night to get their answer. They met the next day at a specially chosen A&P market. They were greeted with covered cartons of either the Chimale or the Smoogy. Which one it was wasn’t evident until the unveiling. The first Supermarket Superstar winner was the Smoogy. It will be sold in select A&P markets across America.