Iceland freezes out competition

Value for money supermarket Iceland has launched its premium autumn range of products. 

Among the new dishes are a katsu chicken curry, beef bourguignon and slow-cooked leg of lamb.

In an effort to expand its audience, the supermarket chain has undergone a re-imagining of its brand over the past 12 months. This coincides with figures from Kantar Worldpanel suggesting that there is growing demand in the frozen and convenience sector.

Using the slogan #PowerofFrozen, the chain hopes to promote the benefits of buying frozen over fresh produce.

Alison Laverick, head of marketing for the supermarket explained: “We took the decision to rebrand all of our own label packaging, including our standard range, earlier on this year inline with the launch of ‘Power of Frozen’. A key objective of the rebrand was to demonstrate the quality of our products through stunning photography whilst at the same time shouting about the USP’s [unique selling point] of each product.”

Earlier in the year, Kantar revealed that, as of the end of March 2015, the frozen retail market experienced growth year on year of over 0.5%, equating to a value of nearly £5.8 billion.

Additionally, the data collection body has shown that frozen ready meal sales have increased 2.1% in volume and 0.8% in value year on year, while much of the retail market has remained flat.

“I think most people today are acknowledging that frozen food is firstly good quality, and secondly from the point of view of it being nature’s ‘pause button’ it stops quality decay in its tracks,” said Iceland’s joint managing director Nigel Broadhurst at a recent promotional event.

“It’s convenient, so the meals can be held in your freezer for as long as you want and then taken out and cooked. Therefore there’s no waste, there’s no fuss, there’s no artificial colours, flavouring and preservatives. It’s high-quality ingredients preserved and suspended in perfect freshness. It’s better than fresh.”

Broadhurst pointed out that another advantage of buying frozen over fresh was that the latter isn’t flexible in terms of all-year usage, whereas frozen is.

Chilled food is premium and has to be made fresh on an almost daily basis. This adds cost to the supply chain, which subsequently adds cost to the value of the product.

“We make good big runs,” added Broadhurst. “We buy in bulk and we produce in bulk. We can produce very efficiently and consistently because we’re making big batches and it gives us both good quality, consistency and it gives great value for money.”

Drawing inspiration from oriental, Indian, Italian, French and English recipes, the new premium range consists of over 20 dishes, and are available online and in stores now.

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