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Hot Pockets are microwaveable turnovers generally containing one or more types of cheese, meat, or vegetables. Hot Pockets were founded by the Chef America Inc. company. Since 2002 they have been produced by Nestlé.
There are more than 20 varieties of the traditional Hot Pocket, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner varieties. Nestlé also offers Lean Pockets, Hot Pockets Croissant Crust (formerly called Croissant Pockets), hot Pie Express, Hot Pocket Pizza Minis (originally called Hot Pockets Pizza Snacks), Hot Pockets Subs, Hot Pockets Calzones, Hot Pockets Panini, Hot Pockets Sideshots, and Hot Pockets Breakfast items which include the meat, egg and cheese varieties, and fruit pastries.
Hot Pockets were invented by Paul Merage and David Merage in the 1970s. They founded the company Chef America Inc. and began producing Hot Pockets in 1983. In 2002 Chef America was sold to Nestlé, and (as of 2012) Hot Pocket products are "now a $2 billion category of frozen sandwiches and snacks".
Citing reduced sales, in 2012 Nestlé announced that it would cut employee numbers at its California and Kentucky factories.
In popular culture
Hank Green of the VlogBrothers frequently uses Hot Pockets as the go-to example for explaining scientific facts about food.
- "Nestlé to Move HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® Business to Ohio". Solon, Ohio, US: PR Newswire. February 6, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- Hsu, Tiffany (January 5, 2012). "Hot Pockets' Chatsworth factory cuts hours, will lay off 103 workers". Los Angeles Times (Eddy Hartenstein). Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- Rene Lynch (10 April 2009). "Jim Gaffigan's L.A. favorites". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- Official website
- Hot Pockets (at Nestlé.com).
- Nutritional information (at nutritiondata.self.com).
- Patent 4775771 for "Sleeve for crisping and browning of foods in a microwave oven and package and method utilizing same" (at patft.uspto.gov).