Dinner at home is about to get a lot more luxurious. Famed Italian restaurant Carbone is officially entering the premium pasta sauce market with new consumer goods brand Carbone Fine Food.
The Major Food Group eatery is beloved for its Italian fare, with brick and mortars in New York City, Miami and Las Vegas. Carbone will start selling its packaged pasta sauce March 29. The canned sauce comes in marinara, tomato basil and arrabbiata flavors, all of which will be available for purchase on Carbone Fine Food’s website and Amazon. The sauces are also scheduled to roll out at Stop and Shop supermarkets in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
“Creating staple sauces for the home cook that possess the craft we’re known for has been a goal for some time,” head chef Mario Carbone is quoted in a press release. "The challenge was to create a product that would not only cut down cooking time but also truly deliver on the promise of unequaled flavor, and we can now say that that's exactly what we've done. We couldn't be more excited—and there’s much more to come."
The preservative-free pasta sauces aren't the first restaurant-grade sauces to hit shelves. Fellow NYC favorite Rao’s brought its sauce to market, fidning success as people looked to elevate their at-home dining experiences. As COVID restrictions limited indoor and outdoor dining, 2020 saw a rise in demand for premium pantry staples. Research firm IRI found that sales of premium sauces like Rao’s increased five percent over the past year. Sales for budget brands, like Prego, fell about the same amount, CNN reports.
Planning for Carbone’s packaged sauce started in November 2019, well before the pandemic completely shifted the food world.
“The sauce category is a crowded one, but what it is lacking is a premium product that can stand up to what’s served in restaurants,” CEO Eric Skae is quoted. “Chefs Mario and Rich have created the highest quality sauce on the market. They found a way to jar the Carbone experience. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Carbone’s jarred sauces employ the same ingredients as the restaurants, including ripe southern Italian tomatoes, fresh basil and oregano. Each are crafted in small batches to minimize scaling difficulties.
Carbone is looking to develop a roasted garlic sauce for market. Currently, there aren't plans to bottle their famous spicy vodka sauce.