White Castle Shrinks Its Hamburgers Down to Pizza Roll Size

When a White Castle slider is too big, try a "Crave Bite."

Castle Bites
Photo: Courtesy of White Castle

White Castle has long been at the forefront of putting fast food into grocers' freezer sections. The chain loves to brag that it was America's first fast-food hamburger chain in 1921, but the company also says that they were the first fast food brand to have a retail division as well, launched in 1987. (And as the son of a White Castle diehard, I can attest to the excitement our family felt at being able to pick up frozen burgers from the supermarket during my childhood.)

Thirty-five years later, White Castle is still looking to break new ground in the freezer section — and, apparently, someone at the company finally asked the question, What if Totino's Pizza Rolls were actually White Castle burgers?

Castle Bites — which are currently rolling out to stores nationwide — are bite-sized, frozen snacks available in two flavors, hamburger and cheeseburger, and in two package sizes, 18-ounce or a 40-ounce "party pack." Though White Castle doesn't explicitly use the "pizza roll" analogy in the description, it feels like the easiest way for outsiders to understand them. The snacks are billed as being "made with 100 percent real beef and onions and wrapped in a crispy golden crust." It's an aggressive pitch, but depending on your level of White Castle fandom, an intriguing one.

"Castle Bites are a fun, new way to extend the Crave, offering a delicious option that meets the mark on distinctive taste," Lynn Blashford, White Castles's CMO, said in the announcement. "In recent research, consumers have let us know they're ready to try and ready to buy, something they will soon be able to do at retailers across the country."

Now, you could be scratching your head thinking, what the heck? And I wouldn't disagree with you. Where did these tiny little frozen burger pockets come from? It's not like they were plucked off the White Castle menu. Well, White Castle says they were developed in a collaboration with "one of the nation's largest, most trusted frozen-food companies," Bellisio Foods.

"Snacking at home has continued to grow as consumers seek convenient and delicious options that fit within new schedules and routines," Bellisio's CEO Steve Young added. "Bellisio is proud to utilize our more than 30 years of experience in frozen foods and in snack rolls to launch such an innovative product. We're excited to build upon our partnership with White Castle, especially following the successful launch of the White Castle Chicken Rings at retail."

So there you have it. Next time White Castle fans head into the supermarket, they can look for White Castle frozen Sliders, Chicken Rings, and, now, Castle Bites. Hey, only one of those three things can't be found at an actual White Castle restaurant — so that's something.

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