Unilever puts pizza back on the menu

Unilever-owned Birds Eye Wall’s is preparing to re-enter the frozen pizza market with an international launch, after a two-year absence from the sector.

The frozen food giant is expected to launch a range of Birds Eye pizzas targeted at the single portion convenience sector. It is thought the name of the brand is Ciabattino.

The creation of a new brand goes against the current of Unilever thinking, which is to axe 75 per cent of its brands.

It will not re-employ the Gino Ginelli sub-brand, which it now uses only with ice-cream.

It is understood that the pizzas are already on sale in Germany.

Two varieties will appear in UK shops during September: mozza-rella and tomato, and pepperami.

The company withdrew its Gino Ginelli frozen pizzas from the UK market following the entry of competitively priced rivals and developments such as deep-pan pizzas and two for-the-price-of-one offers.

A Birds Eye Wall’s spokeswoman says: “We withdrew Gino Ginelli pizzas in mid-1997 because consumers lost interest in the brand.”

An industry insider says: “The obvious reason to re-look at pizzas is that is one of the only frozen food markets that is showing double digit growth.

“The only way to get into pizza is to have the economics of a pan-European brand.”

The total pizza market is worth &£421m, with frozen pizza accounting for 64 per cent.

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