Birds Eye has expanded its frozen chicken lineup with the launch of takeaway-inspired sub-brand Chicken Shop.
The range, which comprises four varieties of coated chicken breast pieces, is due to go on sale across the mults in November. Birds Eye described it as the “ultimate” range of takeaway-style chicken for sharing at home.
Manufactured in Poland, it is available in four separate sharing boxes: eight Buttermilk Strips, 12 Hot & Fiery Chunks, 12 Maple & BBQ Wings and 10 Southern Fried Wings (rsp: £4 each). The launch would be supported by a £3.5m marketing spend, spanning TV advertising, digital, social, in-store activations and PR, Birds Eye said.
Chicken Shop was a response to the growing trend towards informal eating, said senior brand manager for Birds Eye Chicken Markos Papavlasopoulos.
Examples such as movie nights in with friends and family “lend themselves to foods that are great for sharing, easy to prepare and you can eat quite happily with your hands”, he added.
The range’s chicken pieces were combined with “seriously delicious coatings and marinades, delivering the same great taste and experience of a takeaway”, he said. They could be cooked from frozen in 25 minutes, and had tested “remarkably well” with consumers.
It comes amid soaring sales of frozen chicken in the mults, with value sales rising by 9.3% to £440m, and volumes up 4.7% [Nielsen 12 w/e 8 September]. Frozen bone-in chicken was also growing rapidly, with value sales up 25%, while chicken strips were up 29% [Nielsen 52 w/e 11 August].
“Whilst frozen chicken penetration has reached its highest point in the last three years (66.8% [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 9 September]), there is still a lot to go after,” Papavlasopoulos said. “The two biggest penetration barriers for frozen chicken are low quality perceptions and a lack of relevant propositions for consumers. Our new range is perfect to address these tensions and add value into frozen chicken.”