Elio Leoni Sceti, the chief executive of the UK-based manufacturer, is set to unveil details of the “Creating better meals together’ strategy later today (18 November) in an attempt to make its brands more appealing to adult diners. He wants the marketing focus to shift from promoting the frozen food ingredients to meals that could be made with its products.
Innovation and sustainability will underpin the revamped strategy, which includes creating new products and entering new categories such as breakfast, desserts and snacks. Marketing teams are being bolstered to spearhead the shift. Sceti will claim the investment needs to turn Iglo into an “innovation machine”.
He will add: “If it is not big enough to change consumer behaviour we’re not doing it.”
Iglo’s “Forever Food” sustainability programme will be promoted in future campaigns as the business looks to bring more clarity to provenance in the wake of this year’s Horsemeat scandal.
Leoni Sceti adds: “Trust and transparency are important for all food companies. I want to shift consumer perceptions and behaviour by changing the consumer view of frozen food from desperation to inspiration. We are entering an exciting new era for Iglo Group that will focus on creating better meals together for our consumers.”
To accelerate the shift, the food business will also launch an internal digital hub for staff to share insights with one another and identify emerging trends. Iglo has been cranking up its use of digital in recent months to capture deeper shopper data and identify more effective ways to convert online engagement into sales.
“We need to properly understand the consumers’ perspective”, adds Leoni Sceti, “They shop for meals, want great tasting food and have gone digital. Parents have traditionally been the focus of our marketing, yet 75 per cent of the population do not have young children. We need to change our focus.”.
The company claims it has 30 per cent of the frozen market, but just 1.7 per cent of all food. “That amount is a huge opportunity” and means growing top-line sales by 10 per cent a year, not “fattening” profit margins, it adds.
The announcements stem from a shake-up of the company’s €100m pan-European marketing strategy earlier this year that resulted in Havas Worldwide being appointed to lead its advertising efforts. The Birds Eye owner said at the time it wanted to focus on meals not convenience through advertising that turn the freezer from a “source of desperation to one of inspiration”.
The investment comes after Permira, which bought Iglo in 2006, failed to find a potential buyer last year willing to match its €2.8bn (£2.3bn) asking price for the business.