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, however since 2002 they have been produced by Nestlé.
There are more than 20 varieties of the traditional Hot Pocket, including both 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.
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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".
Initially only available in the United States, they are now sold by Nestlé in France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom under the Maggi brand. In Mexico they are sold in some supermarkets under the Nestlé brand. In Canada, Nestlé distributes some Hot Pockets products as part of the Stouffer's Bistro or Lean Cuisine lines, although the Hot Pockets brand itself is absent from product packaging. Hot Pockets are produced and sold in Brazil by Sadia.
Citing reduced sales, in 2012 Nestlé announced that it would cut employee numbers at its California and Kentucky factories.
- "Nestle 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.
- Official website
- Hot Pockets (at nestle.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).