Birds Eye outlines vision for growth

Birds Eye is to switch to targeting adult diners, one of a raft of marketing initiatives planned, as speculation mounts that the frozen food business is the subject of a multibillion pound bid from a far eastern buyer.

Rice Fusions

The company is switching its focus to adult diners with the second phase of its advertising campaign and plans to introduce adverts around some of its newer products such as Rice Fusions and the latest additions to its Baked to Perfection range.

It is also planning to increase the number of in-store cross-promotions it runs with other brands such as Heinz because it feels it needs to do more to be top of mind when shoppers think about meal times.

Birds Eye marketing director Margaret Jobling, who joined last year from Cadbury, says the business aims to spearhead a frozen food renaissance by focusing its marketing around its key vegetable, fish and poultry ranges.

She adds: “The only way for us to compete with chilled food is through continuous innovation and refreshing our products. We’re investing heavily as a business in marketing, research and development and insight to change consumer perceptions of frozen food.

“There’s a sense that frozen food takes an eternity to cook when compared to the perceived speedy preparation times and convenience of chilled food. We’re making the convenience and quality of our products a big part of our marketing to make consumers understand that frozen food can be more nutritious than fresh.”

Birds Eye owner Iglo Group is the subject of a £2.5bn bid from Asian corporation CP Foods after being put up for sale by private equity firm Permira in March. The move comes just week after a separate Chinese business, Bright Foods, bought a controlling stake in breakfast cereal maker Weetabix.

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