Make to-go meals better with Real California dairy

Photograph: Shutterstock

As healthcare facilities and school cafeterias have pivoted to off-premise business models, including offering meals to go, delivery, take-and-bake options, and more, operators have gotten creative with their menus. Ensuring every consumer can find something they like is key, and innovative offerings including ready-to-heat meals and grocery-style offerings—so customers can pick up pantry items such as a dozen eggs or a gallon of milk—have helped operators streamline their businesses and offload surplus ingredients. These new options are a winning choice for customers, too, ensuring they’ll continue to be able to eat the foods they love, which is especially valuable in times when grocery stock can be unreliable.

One way to ensure customers remain satisfied with these new offerings is to incorporate real California cheeses into dishes. California is the nation’s number one dairy state with dairy products that offer the authentic flavor and consistent quality consumers look for  and year-round availability. What’s more, they have a long shelf life compared to some other protein-rich foods, such as chicken or fish.

Adding California dairy products can make dishes even more craveable and authentic. For instance, burrito bowls get an upgrade when topped with real California Hispanic-style cheeses such as Oaxaca cheese or queso fresco.

When it comes to traditional American dishes, where would cheeseburgers, deli sandwiches and grilled cheese be without gold-standard Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese from the Golden State? The same can be said for many other California cheeses, which add rich, creamy flavor to just about any meal.

Operators can also add customer satisfaction by adding California cheeses to any take-and-bake meals they are offering, as well as including them in meal kits or as part of a grocery-style pickup. Some supply-chain breaks have been reported for beef and other meats, but the same can’t be said for dairy and cheese products, making them a reliable source of deliciousness.

For to-go meals—for healthcare workers and facility staff, as well as workers on college campuses—cheeses can offer an upscale experience. Try offering brie and camembert for a build-your-own charcuterie board-style meal or offer portions of feta cheese with Greek salads and gyros. By providing comforting, familiar cheese, operators can feel confident they’re offering foods their customers want—foods they’ll order again and again.

To learn more about the variety of real California dairy products available, visit

This post is sponsored by California Milk Advisory Board

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