Who: Nomad Foods
What: Birds Eye Veggie Bowl: Asian Sweet & Sour Noodles
Where: Frozen ready meals
How much: £2.89/380g
Why: A positive period for frozen ready meals came to an end last year when the category lost value for the first time since 2014, becoming worth £381m in grocery [Nielsen 52 w/e 8 September 2018]. Birds Eye sees vegetarian options as a path back to growth. It launched the single-serve Veggie Bowl range in August, predicting meat-free frozen meals for one “could be worth up to £25m in the next two years”.
Consumer verdict: Many shoppers were excited to try this meal, but enthusiasm waned upon testing. There was polarisation, with younger adults and people in the north most receptive, praising the “great texture”, “good colour of different vegetables” and “authentic spices”. Other consumers said the dish was “nothing special” and tasted “plasticky and artificial”.
Pre-trial purchase: 34%
Post-trial purchase: 20%
Better than what’s out there: 20%
New and different: 64%
Overall score: 32/50