In 2018, healthy options in every area of the diet is the thing. As time-short consumers and families find themselves seeking the most convenient option combined with value for money and quality products, the frozen category is stepping up to change perceptions and give people what they are after - without putting demands on other areas of their lives, writes Doug Whelan
23 February 2018
Since freezer technology became available in the home in the 1960s, frozen food has been a cornerstone of family life. Whether it’s vegetables, potatoes, meat, pizza, desserts, entire pre-made meals; frozen food is a byword for convenience, time-saving and value for money.
However, it has not always been a byword for healthy options – until now. Innovations in preservation and the makeup of those frozen products, combined with an ever-growing demand from the public for greater control over what they feed themselves and their families has led to frozen food manufacturers following suit with the innovations of their counterparts in other aisles. Frozen food doesn’t have to mean unhealthy anymore, and it certainly doesn’t involve compromising on taste.
One thing that’s also important, on the other hand, is the sheer volume of frozen products on the market. Retailers, for whom space is always at a premium, should know what is coming through, what is available, what their customers want and what they should be aware of. Read on for a combination of innovations from Ireland’s best-known brands, and the newcomers aiming to change consumers’ perceptions of the frozen aisle permanently…
Since its launch in 2015, award-winning Irish brand Strong Roots has expanded its healthy veg-based and vegan friendly range by adding an additional five products to its innovative offering, including Beetroot & Bean Burger, Roasted Beetroot Wedges, Mixed Root Vegetable Fries, Spinach Bites and Pumpkin and Spinach Burger.
Strong Roots entered the market at a time when the frozen category was in decline; ever since, it has been a key player in helping retailers bring frozen back from the dead. Its innovative products allow health-conscious customers to opt for a convenient frozen alternative by bringing trends and healthy product offerings to the category.
Strong Roots has achieved this growth through collaborating with retailers to support their ambitions for the category. By being disruptive with in-store shopper marketing strategy, the brand is also driving footfall into frozen through out-of-aisle activations in fresh produce and impulse areas.
Strong Roots’ established customer base consists of engaged brand advocates. The campaign uses social and digital strategy to highlight how Strong Roots is addressing the modern consumer’s needs around health and wellness, premiumisation, convenience, waste management and more recently, the rise in veganism. The marketing strategy is targeted at a younger shopper who wouldn’t normally use the frozen aisle, and therefore, bringing incremental growth to the category.
A snapshot of Strong Roots’ impact on the category*:
- 15% of Irish households have purchased Strong Roots in the past 12 months
- Strong Roots has contributed €1.6m to frozen potato growth, which represents 33% of overall frozen potato growth and 67% of oven chips growth in the last year
- With the first burgers launched at the end of 2016, Strong Roots already has 12% market share of the vegetarian substitutes category
- 1/5 frozen vegetarian burgers sold in Ireland are Strong Roots.
*(Source: Kantar, 2018)
Ireland’s number one
Birds Eye, Ireland’s number one* brand in frozen food, through its consistent investment in communications, packaging and innovation is on track to deliver its objective of transforming consumer perceptions of frozen food from ‘fall back to first choice’.
2017 saw a move away from Masterbrand towards a ‘food first’ approach with linking packaging and comms to strong appetite appeal and quality cues.
In keeping with Birds Eye’s history of continuous investment, in 2018 an always-on integrated media and commercial plan spanning TV, digital, social, in-store and out of home will support key Birds Eye ranges and associated EPD/NPD including Fish Fingers, Chicken, Coated Fish, Waffles, Peas, and Inspirations.
With 73.2% of fish fingers (+0.9% YOY), Birds Eye remains the clear market leader. Since his re-introduction in 2016, Captain Birds Eye has been enthusiastically welcomed by consumers and customers and building on this affinity and success a new Captain will be launched in Q1 2018. The new Captain will contemporise this old favourite and highlight the quality and simplicity of Birds Eye Fish Fingers and associated ingredients.
Extension into Gluten Free with Fish Fingers, Coated Fish and (existing) Waffles has delivered penetration gains and consolidated Birds Eye as the innovator and leader in frozen.
Birds Eye frozen chicken holds 51% total value share with a 69.7% Share of the growing ‘pieces’ sector. Birds Eye commitment to quality, ranging, communication and innovation will ensure that the category continues to grow across all segments.
Birds Eye commands a 17.3% share of total frozen* making it the largest individual brand in frozen food. Significant share gains for Birds Eye and its number one and strong number two brand ranking across the chicken, potato waffle, pea and fish categories all contribute to this progression.
*(Source: Nielsen December 2017)
The doctor is in
Since the company was first established in 1891, the philosophy of Dr. Oetker has been “quality is the best recipe”. Loved by Irish consumers for more than ten years, Dr. Oetker is the number two pizza supplier in Ireland with 31.2% value market share*, and 3% year-on-year growth.
Ristorante by Dr. Oetker, delivers the authentic Italian pizzeria taste straight into the homes of Irish consumers. With Ristorante, there is always more to discover as the brand offers the widest range of toppings in the market. Recently, the range was extended to include a new Gluten Free offering. Ristorante uses only the finest quality ingredients to create generous, mouth-watering toppings, all coming together on a thin and crispy base. Once the final ingredient has been carefully placed, each Ristorante pizza is frozen, to lock in the flavours at the peak of their freshness. Shoppers love the quality, freshness and variety that Ristorante brings to an occasion.
Chicago Town Takeaway Pizzas are made with a unique rising dough that is not pre-cooked, giving shoppers an authentic takeaway taste, straight from their own oven! Ongoing integrated media and commercial plans encompassing TV, digital, social, in-store and out of home support Chicago Town Takeaway Pizza’s mission to delight the nation’s taste buds, highlighting their stuffed crust range bursting with their famous tomato sauce. Strong innovation and brand investment will continue to support Chicago Town on its path to fast becoming the nation’s favourite frozen takeaway pizza.
Dr Oetker has a strong history of continued investment and NPD pipeline. The latest innovation is Chicago Town Pizza Kitchen, a fresh dough pizza with a delicious, crisp crust in the style of tiger bread. The pizzas are generously topped with fresh toppings for a better tasting pizza. The tasty new flavours include Cheese Medley, Deli Pepperoni, and Roasted Chicken. The Pizza Kitchen, has a fresh, contemporary pack design and its range has a broad, family appeal. Available in supermarkets nationwide with a MRRP of €3.99.
*(Source: Nielsen MAT w/e 31/12/17)
Since its launch in 1993, Goodfella’s Pizza has been Ireland’s number one frozen pizza brand. Produced in state-of-the-art facilities in Naas and Longford, it is a proud Irish brand which supports 750 jobs.
The Goodfella’s team is constantly striving to meet consumer needs and wants. Tapping into key trends and meal occasions, the brand has something for everyone and continues to deliver tasty pizzas for all the family.
Goodfella’s has the widest frozen pizza menu on the market, including the “Takeaway” pizza for all the family to share; for those seeking a thinner base the addition of Thin Crust Takeaway. The Thin range still provides families of all ages a selection of toppings from pepperoni to roast chicken, while the Deep Pan range continues to surprise consumers with its light and fluffy options. That special “me time” occasion is provided for in the Extra Thin and Deli Di Lusso ranges, while those with special dietary requirements can choose from a range of gluten free pizzas.
Follow Goodfella’s Ireland on Facebook or visit its website on www.goodfellaspizzas.com for more information.
Options for all
Understanding that everybody loves eating honest to goodness food, Unislim – Ireland’s leading slimming and healthy lifestyle club since 1972 – has selected the best potatoes for its Rustic Cut Chips and Skinny Sweet Potato Fries for health-conscious consumers. Where healthy meets delicious, these gluten free, vegan friendly chips are low in saturated fats and high in Vitamins A and C.
The Gorge Us range was created by Unislim’s food experts in 2015, with the seal of approval from top Irish dieticians. The objective was to bring a healthy chip to market which containing no artificial colours, preservatives or flavourings. On-trend and contemporary, there are several new additions to the Gorge Us range planned for 2018.
The range is supported by the strength of 50,000 class members at 300+ weekly classes, in the north and in the Republic. With an online promotional reach of more than 100k across Unislim’s busy social media platforms and three newspaper inserts of the Unislim publication each year, brand awareness is constant.
The Gorge Us range is available in Tesco, Dunnes Stores, SuperValu, BWG Stores, JC Savage, Dollard & Co. and other stores nationwide. Visit Unislim.com for more details.