It is already a mighty rival to Birds Eye in fish. Now, Young’s Seafood is challenging its arch-rival on another front - by moving into frozen chicken for the first time in its 208-year history.
Young’s has made the tentative but significant step by extending its Chip Shop brand beyond coated fish into chicken.
The range, which is exclusive to Iceland and hit shelves on Wednesday (23 January), includes chicken fillets and strips (£1.50) as well as breast steaks, dippers and bites (£2.50).
Birds Eye, Young’s closest competitor in frozen, sells a number of similar products, including chicken fillets, strips and dippers as well as chicken bite ‘Popstars’.
However, Young’s downplayed the move, claiming fish remained its priority. “Whilst we continue to develop our Chip Shop brand, our core plan remains focused on driving our frozen fish range across all retailers through great innovation, advertising and category management,” said a spokeswoman.
Birds Eye encroached on Young’s territory last Spring with the launch of a co-branded Harry Ramsden’s range, which CEO Martin Glenn said was designed to equip it with a brand to match Young’s Chip Shop.
It will be monitoring the new Young’s lines closely because poultry is one of its three core categories and last year was the strongest performer across the Iglo Group.
One Birds Eye source questioned whether the Young’s name would stretch to chicken. “Birds Eye has never been a fish brand, it’s been a frozen brand,” he added.