There was further evidence of the renaissance of the frozen food category this week as two major launches were announced.
A Belfast-based supplier of own-label frozen party food to Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda is launching its first branded proposition targeting what it claims is the untapped convenience sector. The company, Private & Label, is launching The Good Frozen Food Company brand in August and forecasts sales of £2m-£3m in its first year.
It will initially comprise eight party lines, including mini quiches and savoury puffs. The company plans to double the range's size next spring and enter new frozen categories. "Earlier this year I had to run out to get finger food for a party and realised all I could get in local stores were cocktail sausages and sausage rolls. Very 1970s," said owner Geoff O'Reilly. "With our experience in own label, I knew we could launch a brand and modernise frozen."
Rather than targeting bigger multiples where own label was favoured, it is aimed at smaller retailers such as the Co-op, Nisa-Today's, Spar, Budgens, Londis and Supervalu Centra.
Meanwhile, gluten-free specialist Nutrition Point is expanding its frozen range under its Dietary Specials brand. The range includes what the company claims are the UK's first gluten-free thin crust pizzas, as well as a garlic bread twin-pack and two pasta ready meals. The expansion takes its frozen offer from two to eight lines.
"Free-from consumers are brand loyal and often stick to brands they were given when first diagnosed," said Nutrition Point founder Chris Hook. "We spotted a gap for a range of frozen meals that offer 'normal-tasting' food."