crispy pancakes

Birds Eye and Young’s Seafood are preparing to go head to head in supermarket freezers with new crispy pancake ranges next month.

Both companies said this week they would launch their versions of the popular frozen snack imminently, after The Grocer had earlier revealed the brands’ plans.

Young’s will be the first in store when its Original Pancake Co line-up rolls out later this month, before Birds Eye revives the iconic Findus Crispy Pancakes in early May.

There were fears earlier this year that Findus Crispy Pancakes, created in the early 1970s, would be discontinued after previous owner, Young’s, lost the right to the name after being spun off into a standalone company.

The move was part of a takeover of its owner, Birds Eye’s European arm, by Nomad Holdings in a £500m deal. But, as reported last month by The Grocer, Nomad still holds the rights and intends to revive the frozen product, which will be offered in four recipes - Cheese, Ham & Cheese, Beef & Onion, and Chicken, Bacon & Sweetcorn (rsp: £1/four-pack) - in packaging that retains elements of the old design. They will be initially available in Asda and Morrisons.

Meanwhile, Young’s new Original Pancake Co range, first revealed in January, will comprise three variants - Cheese, Minced Beef & Onion and Chicken, Bacon & Sweetcorn - in packs of four priced the same as the Birds Eye range.

Both brands said consumer nostalgia for crispy pancakes had been a major influence on their decision to revive the product.

But branding experts warned there may not be enough room for two crispy pancake brands to survive long term.

“Reinventing an icon is a delicate business,” said Kate Waddell, group insight and innovation director at Dragon Rouge, adding it was a “difficult call” to forecast which brand would ultimately emerge as the winner.