Birds Eye Vegetables and Coles Ice Cream Win Down Under

Birds Eye SteamFresh Vegetables with Cheese Sauce was a big winner in the 2015 Product of the Year Australia competition. Produced by Simplot, it proved to be the favorite frozen fare among a majority of 15,000 Australians surveyed by Nielsen.

Steamfresh-Broc-Cauliflower-Carrots-with-Cheese-400g-3D-282x300Birds Eye SteamFresh Vegetables and Cheese Sauce is distributed in units of two individual steam bags per pack.Targeted especially to appeal to consumers with busy lifestyles, the portion-controlled, 200-gram twin-serving range features Cauliflower and Trio Veg Mix (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots) options that can be heated and ready to serve in just three and a half minutes. The suggested retail price is $3.99.

“Our research showed that adding flavor such as a cheese sauce to vegetables was a great way to reduce barriers to eating more vegetables,” said Kelly Wilson, brand manager for frozen vegetables.

The people’s choice for top frozen dessert was Coles’ private label range of 500ml ice cream, which includes Lemon Meringue (rippled with lemon curd and crumbly meringue pieces), Peanut Butter (featuring milk chocolate ripples and salted crushed peanut) and Pavlova Passion (vanilla ice cream with mango, passion fruit and crunchy meringue swirls) flavors. Made in New South Wales by a farmer-owned cooperative, they contain no artificial coloring or fake flavoring.

Over 44 winning products, ranging from cheese and chocolate to meat and poultry, were announced during an awards ceremony in Sydney on February 11. Private labels scored well, with the retail chains Aldi and Woolworths joining Coles in victory circle with products including baked desserts, beef burgers, soups and ready-to-eat chicken.

colesbrandicecreamThe Nielsen survey found that Australian consumers were sweet on the 500ml private label ice cream range offered at Coles supermarkets.

“Supermarkets are responding to a real demand for really high quality products that are affordable, as evidenced by Aldi winning with eight products,” said Sarah Connelly, director of Product of the Year Australia. “People are more likely now to try own brands because the quality is starting to get a lot better.”

Private label products reportedly account for 21% of packaged foods sold at retail outlets in Australia, up three percent over the past few years.