We're now seeing a move towards premium and a return to value. Smaller players such as Cooks have shown real courage by bringing frozen to a much higher ground, and the past year has seen excellent innovations from many suppliers, among them Pudz premium individual desserts and Dr Oetker Deep Crisp pizza. It's this sort of orchestrated initiative that we need from the whole industry.
Ready meals have suffered most. This year, we worked with Eazy Cuizine, Wensleydale Foods and Babylicious - who all demonstrate a true entrepreneurial flair - to introduce a range of quality family meals to our freezers. We also worked with regional food organisations to deliver local ranges to all stores.
Campaigns to promote the benefits of frozen food, such as Birds Eye's Truth Campaign, are much needed and it will be critical to continue this momentum on a long-term basis.
We need to see more premiumisation and health-consciousness within frozen. We also need in-store excitement to draw in the consumer. A simple core range driven by category management, better visibility and signage alone can go a very long way. People forget that frozen foods still account for nearly 9% of total retail foods purchased and the category has real potential.