We are not seeing clear innovation, just variations, but for me the best launch this year was Good Fellas Solos. Success was down to quality, versatility, price points and TV sponsorship.
Sales of Babylicious and Kiddylicious frozen baby food have surprised me. It's niche but is growing in all store sizes. It is also great to see the major multiples are not driving the price down.
More consumers have been eating fish and Birds Eye's frozen fish, especially cod fish fingers, have also shown great growth even though not all of its fish NPD was successful. The company's 'nothing added' campaign was excellent, although I doubt that all consumers understood the message of great quality and freshness. Getting this across is the ongoing challenge.
The World Cup pushed sales of pizzas, desserts and ice creams, while warm weather delivered exceptional barbecue sales for ice cream and red meat. Bags of ice cubes were the biggest volume seller in the summer. Poor potato and vegetable harvests are causing availability issues.
The biggest disappointment was the way some major brands over-priced and over-hyped products for launch deals, and got upset when standard sales did not appear. Frozen food deals mean a drop in brand loyalty; the consumer is getting too used to promotions.