Aprons Simple Meals cards available to shoppers

Fast. Delicious. Easy. It’s those three ingredients that you’ve come to expect from our Aprons Simple Meals recipes, and we take pride in delivering every single one in each recipe we develop. But what exactly does it take to get an Aprons Simple Meals recipe from idea to the in-store kitchen and finally, to your home? Great ideas, talented associates, true passion for food, and something special that we can only describe as the Publix touch.

Powering the Light Bulb

As with everything, our Aprons Simple Meals recipes start as just an idea. Amber Pruett, Recipe Development Manager for Publix, says the inspiration for 08_03_KS_Aprons_Image2our recipes doesn’t just come from one person or one place. “There’s no right place or person for an Aprons Simple Meals recipe idea to stem from. We get ideas from looking at items on sale and themes of the year, like our Viva Italia Sale. We also look at trends our customers are seeing in restaurants and magazines,” Amber says. “Sometimes we get ideas just from looking at the items in our customers’ carts!”

Once an idea is formed, our Aprons Recipe Development team gets down to business. And what’s the first step once the recipe idea is hammered out? Well, ingredients, of course!

All the Right Stuff

Selecting the perfect ingredients is an essential step in the Aprons Simple Meals recipe development process. Our team tries to incorporate everything from the #1397, Store Opening, Miami, Miami Floridafruits and vegetables that are At Season’s Peak and trends in the food industry (such as quinoa) to sale items and new products in the store. We aim to introduce our customers to new and fun products while also keeping budget and efficiency in mind.

“I often joke that our development process is kind of like an episode of Chopped,” Amber says. “We have certain ingredients that we have to incorporate, a thirty minute time limit, and nutritional guidelines. Essentially, we have all these ideas and ingredients and we’re challenged to make them work together. It’s always a very fun process!”

Finals Week

As with every idea, the more brains involved – the better. Once our recipes have been developed, they’re sent to a taste review panel to be tasted. Recipes are graded on an A-F scale. Any recipe that scores less than a B is sent back to the drawing board.

“We take pride in our recipes and want them to be great,” says Amber. “If a recipe scores less than a C, we look at it again and make adjustments to address the issues the panel recognized. It’s very rare that a recipe bombs, but if it does, we take it back to the drawing board and find ways to tweak it before presenting it again at a later time.”

Once the tasting is done and the grades are in, several other departments join the team for the final steps.

Bringing It All Together

It takes a lot of hands to make an Aprons Simple Meals recipe card happen. Our Recipe Development Team and Meals department obviously plays a huge role, but so does our Marketing team, editing, purchasing and customer service. Not to mention, our Simple Meals associates serve up the recipe and give our customers those simple, yet great tasting dinner ideas right in-store.

“Every single department is a part of it,” Amber says. “We have to make the card with the recipe 08_03_KS_Aprons_Image4components, design it to fit our card layouts, market it with the right sales, train our associates how to purchase the right amount of product so stores don’t run out and train our associates to cook, and deliver the recipe. There are a lot of hands working to deliver each recipe to our customers.”

Taking an Aprons Simple Meals recipe from idea to reality is a very involved process, but Amber says all the hard work is worth it. “It’s so amazing to watch a recipe come to life. From developing the idea to watching the panel taste and review and finally seeing it in stores and customers’ shopping carts, it’s just truly remarkable. I’m very proud of our team and the process we take to make our recipes.”

Bonus Material

  • Our Recipe Development Team develops anywhere from 12 to 30 recipes every month.
  • All of our recipes aim to include 12 ingredients or less.
  • 08_03_KS_Aprons_Image5Though it can vary sometimes, almost all of our recipes are under 750 calories and 25 grams of fat per serving.
  • Amber’s favorite Aprons Simple Meals recipe is the Italian Pie. It actually won the Family Category at the FMI Grocery Supermarket Chef Showdown with Amber preparing it. Since her mother also does a rendition of it, it holds a special place in her heart.
  • Our most popular recipe according to Pinterest clicks and pins is the Baked Spaghetti.


We hope this behind the scenes look at our Aprons Simple Meals recipes has opened your eyes to how much pride we take in those little cards filling your recipe books at home. Check out these other fun facts and shout out your favorite Aprons Simple Meals recipe in the comments below!

Kandi S.

Written by

Kandi S. wrote her first short story at nine-years-old and has been a lover of the written word ever since, which makes The Publix Checkout one of her favorite things about working for Publix! Starting as a cashier in 2005, Kandi has since incorporated her love for writing and social media with her passion for the company focused on customer service. She enjoys fitness, writing, live music and local food and beverages. Kandi hopes you walk away from our blog each day with a new-found appreciation for the grocery store where shopping is a pleasure.

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