Frozen solid!

By ‘locking in' nutrition and offering convenient mealtime options using quality ingredients, leading manufacturers in Ireland are continuing to drive sales within the frozen sector. Read on to learn more about the brands with innovative ranges that are whetting appetites nationwide


Brand Central

20 February 2024

Share this post:



For those seeking healthy, budget-friendly options, the frozen food aisle is a go-to destination. Adapting to the evolving demands of the Irish market, frozen food emerges as a key player in the fight against food waste. In a period of stretched budgets, leading frozen food brands are thriving by providing high-quality freshness at an affordable price. Recognising that the frozen food section isn’t an impulse-buy hotspot, retailers aim for the right balance between affordability and premium offerings.

Sarah Hanly, prepared consumer foods (PCF) international graduate, recently wrote on the subject of frozen foods for Bord Bia*. “According to Kantar, the frozen category is one of the strongest performing categories within the grocery channel regarding volume and value growth (with +10.4% value YOY and -1.8% volume YOY),” Hanly wrote. “Reviewing the sub-categories within frozen, prepared foods, followed by confectionery, hold the most significant value market share with 62.4% and 25.2%, respectively, and are the leading contributors to growth,” she added.

Within prepared foods, savoury bakery and processed poultry are driving performance, which in turn contributes to growth in the total frozen category. Within frozen confectionery (ice creams and desserts), lollies and premium ice cream drive this sub-category’s success with category values of €14m and €11.5m, respectively In desserts, ‘pies, tarts, and flans’ are delivering the most robust growth due to new shoppers entering the category, Hanly highlighted. “Looking into 2024, the future for frozen food is promising; the category has significant opportunities for increased growth due to its relevance to consumer needs.”

*(Source: Kantar. (2023). Frozen Channel Category Debrief. Bord Bia)

Changing attitudes to frozen chicken

The Chicken with Attitude premium chicken range is demonstrating that people will pay for premium quality frozen chicken once they try it

Chicken with Attitude’s Real Chicken Dippers are individually hand-cut from a single chicken breast

Chicken with Attitude only uses hand-cut whole fillet in its Tenders and Popcorn with bespoke coatings for a delicious, crispy finish

Since its launch in 2019, the Chicken with Attitude premium chicken range has gone a long way to changing people’s attitudes about cooked frozen chicken. The brand set out to prove that people will pay for premium quality frozen chicken once they try it.

Heavy investment in in-store sampling is proving to be extremely successful, the brand reports. People who would previously never have considered buying frozen cooked chicken tenders are now changing their attitudes. According to commercial director for the brand, Jim Mahon: “It’s the age old story that any good chef will tell you…It starts with top quality ingredients. We only use hand-cut whole fillet in our Tenders and Popcorn with bespoke coatings for a delicious, crispy finish. No reformed or chopped and shaped products carry our brand name. Consumers expect restaurant quality and this is what they get.”

What’s more, all Chicken with Attitude products are fully cooked and can be heated up in an air fryer or oven in 12 minutes. “Sales continue to show a sharp upward trend,” says Mahon. “Our new Real Chicken Dippers have been enthusiastically welcomed as part of the range. More line extensions are planned for the near future.”

The latest offering in the Chicken with Attitude range is the Real Chicken Dipper: another premium quality product with a difference. So what exactly are real chicken dippers? “They are individually hand-cut from a single chicken breast,” says Mahon. “Not like others which are made from chicken that is minced and chopped and shaped by machine.” Indeed, according to Chicken with Attitude, “the difference in flavour, quality and texture is staggering’. A quality option for the kids, the Real Chicken Dipper uses real chicken in a light tempura batter. It’s available in 500g family size bags in supermarkets nationwide.

Number one frozen fish brand

With two portions per pack, Donegal Catch Fishcakes are perfect as a starter, part of a lunch spread, or a quick midweek evening meal

Donegal Catch, Ireland’s number one frozen fish brand for almost 40 years, is encouraging Irish households to choose Irish white fish this National Fish Week (12 18 February) and throughout the year! Buying responsibly caught Irish haddock, whiting and hake from Donegal Catch supports Irish fishermen, fisherwomen and local fishing communities.  Donegal Catch is Ireland’s largest white fish processor, processing 30% of Irish landed haddock and whiting and employing 120 people in Ireland.

Donegal Catch’s range of fishcakes includes Irish Haddock Ginger & Chilli, and Irish Hake Lemon & Parsley Fishcakes

The brand recently launched new products featuring Irish white fish species – a range of fishcakes including Irish Haddock Ginger & Chilli and Irish Hake Lemon & Parsley (the first brand to offer a range of fishcakes in the freezer aisle) and a family pack of Breaded Irish Hake Fillets.

The range of fishcakes is designed with busy professionals, couples and families in mind and is sure to elevate any meal occasion at home. With two portions per pack, they are perfect as a starter, part of a lunch spread, or a quick midweek evening meal. These fishcakes and the hake fillets can be cooked from frozen, are suitable for both air fryers and ovens and have been developed and made in Ireland using responsibly sourced fish. All the packaging is fully recyclable.

National Fish Week

To celebrate National Fish Week, Donegal Catch will be running a TV advert featuring fisherman Frank McClenaghan from Greencastle in Co. Donegal. In the ad, he explains why fishing is important for local communities and the role sustainability plays in the Irish fishing industry. The TV advert, which first aired on Monday, 5 February, will run for three weeks as part of the National Fish Week campaign.

“This National Fish Week we are encouraging Irish households to choose Donegal Catch Irish haddock, whiting and hake. With people’s increasing desire to eat locally and sustainably caught fish, we are working closely with Irish fishermen like Frank, to bring quality fish to Irish dinner plates,” said Aisling Twomey, Donegal Catch marketing manager.

“Donegal Catch is the largest purchaser of white fish from the Irish catching sector and processes over 30% of Irish landed haddock and whiting,” Twomey explained. “We recognise the role we play in the sustainable development of the Irish fishing industry, protecting our waters, and positively impacting our communities for generations to come. We also know that shoppers are looking for tasty, nutritious meal ideas that can be cooked from frozen and available when you need them.

“We were really excited about the recent launch of our fishcakes and breaded fillets made with Irish haddock and hake,” she added. “Our team have been working hard to bring these innovative, new products to the market and we hope shoppers will love them as much as we do!”

Supporting responsible fishing practices, Donegal Catch works closely with Irish fish suppliers to source the best quality fish, fully traceable back to the boat. For Irish haddock, whiting and hake, Donegal Catch is a key stake holder in the Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) backed Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs), which focus on improving the sustainability of these Irish fisheries. Donegal Catch procure 100% of its haddock, whiting and hake from Irish co-ops, fishermen and fisherwomen who are members of the Fishery Improvement Projects.

Championing good food!

From classic side dishes to tasty stir-fry mixes and crispy roast potatoes, Green Isle makes good food decisions easy, proudly endorsed by Green Isle ambassador Derval O’Rourke

Green Isle has launched a new campaign brought to life nationally across out of home, radio, social and in-store.

Green Isle has been championing good, convenient food in Ireland for over 60 years: ‘Making you feel like a champion in the kitchen’. From classic side dishes of garden peas to flavoursome stir-fry mixes and crispy roast potatoes, Green Isle makes good food decisions easy. The brand’s range of vegetable and potato sides saves time on meal preparation as all the chopping and slicing has been done already, ensuring that family meal times are as stress-free as possible and that everyone feels like a champion in the kitchen.

“As a busy mum, I always choose Green Isle,” says Green Isle ambassador Derval O’Rourke. The fruit and vegetables are picked at their peak and frozen at their freshest, locking in nutrition. From stir fries to smoothies. Green Isle helps my family to eat well!”

“For generations, Irish families have trusted Green Isle to put good food on their table,” adds Mairéad Walsh, marketing manager, Green Isle.We’re more than just a food company, we’re a good company and we’re committed to making it easy to eat well and live greener. To some people, Green Isle may be the reliable pack in your freezer but dig a little deeper and you’ll realise that there’s much more to us than that. From sustainable packaging to tackling food waste, and ensuring our products are as nutritious as possible, we want to create an Ireland where everyone can eat better and live greener. That’s goodness for all.”

Make sure to stock your freezers with all the nutrition and taste of Green Isle, Ireland’s trusted ally for good food. Watch out for new and exciting additions to the brand’s range, coming soon.

Q&A with… Emma Cahill, Glenhaven brand director

Brother and sister team Barry and Emma Cahill are extremely proud of their family business

Established in Co. Wicklow by the Cahill family in 1986, Glenhaven Foods has grown to become one of Ireland’s largest frozen food processors for the retail and foodservice sectors. Glenhaven now has a turnover of €60m and operates out of two purpose-built factories in Arklow, including a state-of-the-art fully cooked facility.

This year, Glenhaven was awarded four gongs at the Family Business Awards, including Family Business of the Year, Innovative Family Business of the Year, a Family Business Longevity Award and International Family Business of the Year.

Glenhaven is a major employer in Co. Wicklow and remains a 100% independent, Irish, family-owned business. In this month’s issue, we decided to catch up with Glenhaven brand director Emma Cahill to learn more about this growing brand.

The Glenhaven team celebrating their fantastic success at the Family Business Awards, where the company received no less than four awards

Q: Tell us about the Family Business Awards – why did you enter?

A: Glenhaven is extremely proud to be a family business and we saw the Family Business Awards as a unique and unmissable opportunity to celebrate that fact.

Q: Do you think being a family business gives you an edge over competitors? 

A: Being a family business is definitely a massive part of who we are as a company. Many of our team have been with the business for over 30 years, with many second generation and now even third generation employees. Our team has a massive depth of knowledge and dedication. We all take a lot of pride in what we produce, and that shines through in the quality of our products.

Glenhaven Crispy Shredded Chicken can be used to create a host of tasty meals, from stir-fries to a Caesar Salad, as shown here

Q: Does having a family story behind your brand resonate with your customers?

A: Irish consumers are keen to purchase Irish products and many now recognise that a lot of other frozen poultry brands are being imported directly from Thailand and China. Our family story serves as a reminder of the real people behind our products, and all the Irish jobs and families who are supported when you purchase locally produced food products.

Q: Glenhaven recently began supplying Subway with your new Cheesy Bites – can you tell us more about that?

A: Yes, Glenhaven is incredibly proud to be a supplier to Subway. Glenhaven currently supplies all 2,400 Subway stores throughout the UK and Ireland, which saw us shortlisted for the Export Innovation of the Year Award 2023.

Q: Tell us more about your upcoming new expanded cheese range for your retail brand?

Glenhaven Cheese Bites are made with 100% Irish cheese and the range includes scrumptious Chilli, Pizza and Nacho varieties

A: Coated Cheese Bites have been a proven success in quick-service restaurants (QSRs) for a number of years now, with some reaching a cult status. With the continued rise of the fakeaway, Glenhaven Cheese Bites are an easy win with customers looking for a take-away inspired side or appetiser to go alongside their pizza or burger.

We are releasing three new Glenhaven Cheese Bites products in handy 200g size boxes later this year. The entire range is made with 100% Irish cheese and includes our Glenhaven Chilli Cheese Bites, our innovative Glenhaven Pizza Cheese Bites and our delicious Glenhaven Nacho Cheese Bites.

Our 100% Irish cheese bites make a quick and easy snack, and are ready from the air fryer in just seven minutes. With three varieties, they also make fantastic party food.

Q: Do you see cheese as an area of growth for Glenhaven?

A: We see coated Irish cheese as a very natural growth area for Glenhaven, and we are incredibly proud of what we have already produced. In fact, we believe our upcoming retail and foodservice ranges are quite possibly the best frozen cheese bites available in the frozen aisle today.

Glenhaven Cheese Bites will launch in Tesco and Dunnes Stores this coming spring and we are planning to launch across other Irish and UK retailers throughout 2024.

Good food fast

Unislim has two gluten-free, vegan-friendly products on the market: Unislim Gorge Us Rustic Cut Chips and Skinny Sweet Potato Fries, alongside its new frozen ready meal range which makes mealtimes quick and convenient

Unislim celebrates eating delicious, healthy food crafted to inspire a more balanced lifestyle.

The Unislim food range uses only the finest ingredients. The brand currently has two impressive gluten-free, vegan-friendly products on the market: Unislim Gorge Us Rustic Cut Chips and deliciously Skinny Sweet Potato Fries.

Created by Unislim’s top food experts, these products are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, low in saturated fats, contain no artificial colours, preservatives or flavourings and have been approved by Ireland’s top dieticians.

Unislim recently launched a frozen ready meal range. This includes four mouth-watering, flavour-filled, delicious recipes: Thai Chicken Curry with Jasmine Rice, Mango Chicken Curry with Jasmine Rice, Beef Ragu with Wholewheat Pasta and finally, Spicy Chickpea Curry with Jasmine Rice. Low in calories and fat but high in protein, the range makes mealtimes quick and convenient, because sometimes everyone needs ‘Good Food Fast!’

Unislim is a family run, Irish owned company.  Its goal is to offer healthy, delicious, wholesome and great-tasting options for vegans and health-conscious foodies. It has been Ireland’s leading slimming and healthy lifestyle club since 1972. Unislim offers its loyal members a personalised and effective weight loss plan, which encourages them to make healthier food choices. With a network of 240+ supportive weekly classes all over Ireland or Unislim online, there is a class near your store.

Visit for more information.





Share this post:

Back to Top ↑

Shelflife Magazine