Birds Eye targets mums with ITV and food blogger tie-up

Birds Eye is looking to make meal times more exciting and stand out as a brand for all occasions with a tie to ITV and food blogger Katie Bryson.

“Mix Up Your Menu” will launch exclusively across ITV’s portfolio of channels today (19 January) as the latest addition to the brand’s master “Food of Life” campaign that launched last year in an effort to show consumers how they can make meal times more exciting and serve Birds Eye food in new ways.

The company is investing £3m in the campaign, which will feature on weekdays for the remainder of 2015 during flagship daytime shows.

Steve Chantry, marketing director for Birds Eye UK, told Marketing Week: “This is part of an overall step change in our brand investment, and is largely incremental on what we were already doing.”

Last year, the brand invested £10m into the launch of its Food of Life campaign, a budget it will replicate in the campaign again this year.

“Mix Up Your Menu” brings an incremental £3m to that £10m, and is part of the brand’s attempt to deliver against its strategy of helping UK families enjoy mealtimes every day.

“There’s clear insight to suggest that today’s mum are busy and always looking for reliable yet innovative solutions to feed their families in exciting and tasty ways,” Chantry says. “The next natural extension is providing more tips and hints to help people get more from those occasions.”

The first spot will show Bryson demonstrating a Fish Finger Pie recipe, as the brand looks to use the food blogger and mum’s tips and recommendations throughout the campaign.

It is also part of a wider push to bring the brand to more meal occasions, rather than just within frozen foods.

“In the last 12 months we’ve made a very significant change to our strategy to provide better solutions to more occasions,” Chantry says. “While our portfolio is heroed from the freezer, we see our role within UK mealtimes much broader.

A large part of the new strategy has been a focus on innovation, with the introduction of the Birds Eye “Inspirations” range last March to provide what Chantry calls “adult dining solutions”.

“It has been a stellar success, and was one of the biggest launches across all of grocery last year,” Chantry says. “We will continue to expand on this with exciting new ranges this year.”

He says all of these efforts are underpinned by a focus on sustainability, which the brand has previously pushed through its “Captain Birds Eye” character who advocates the importance of curbing food waste.

“We’re helping to educate consumers that ultimately frozen foods play an important role in preserving food and reducing waste,” he says, adding that the brand will launch new sustainability initiatives this year.

The new campaign will be pushed through PR, digital and social with the hash tag #BirdsEyeMixItUp, and will be supported through a microsite where consumers can share meal tips and watch recipe videos for a chance to win prizes.

“The very fact that over half of the nation’s consumers already use online as part of their food journey means its a natural next step,” Chantry says.

“We believe its our role to facilitate a discourse among consumers around ways they can mix up their menus and share them virally.”

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