Source: Iceland

Iceland has rebranded one aisle in its Charlton Food Warehouse store

Iceland Foods is to trial a specialist aisle that will only stock food that can be cooked in an air fryer, under a new pilot driven by a rise in the number of people using the appliance to cut costs during the cost of living crisis.

The discounter has rebranded freezers in one aisle of its Food Warehouse store in Charlton, London, with hot pink signage. The freezers will stock a range of 237 air-fryable products, the majority of which are already available in Iceland’s stores, including Greggs Sausage Rolls, Aunt Bessie’s Bacon Topped Chicken Crown and Iceland’s own brand french fries.

Initially the single store pilot will run from 19 June to 25 June. However, Iceland said it could potentially be expanded nationwide.

“We pride ourselves on knowing exactly what our customers coming through our store doors are looking for, matching their changing shopping trends with fresh ideas,” said Iceland Foods executive chairman Richard Walker.

“Introducing the world’s first air fryer aisle at our Food Warehouse is another exciting example. As the popularity of air fryer cooking grows, this aisle will give customers easy access to products that work perfectly in this time and energy-saving cooking appliance.”

Air fryers use blasts of hot air to cook food rather than oil and are generally seen as a cheaper alternative to conventional ovens.

A number of retail bodies including Kantar and the BRC have highlighted a noticeable increase in the number of people buying the appliances over the past year as a way of cutting their living costs to cope with rising energy and food prices.

Of 2,000 air fryer owners surveyed by Iceland and the energy company Utilita, 68% cited affordability as the key reason behind their purchase.

“The popularity of the air fryer is something we should all celebrate as a nation – this simple shift from one cooking appliance to another is helping households to reduce their cooking-related carbon emissions substantially,” said Utilita head of sustainability Archie Lasseter.

“Behaviour change plays a role in almost two-thirds of emissions reductions, which makes Iceland’s dedicated air fryer aisle extremely valuable. By making it quicker and easier for households to select foods that can be cooked in an air fryer, Iceland is helping us to avoid the power-hungry oven.”

The discounter began cooking instructions for air fryers to packaging on some products last year. In October, the retailer sold 20,000 air fryers in the space of a few days after it launched a limited special offer in stores.