Vegetables & Fruits

Vegetables and Pasta Star in New Birds Eye Steamfresh Meal Products

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Nomad Foods’ Birds Eye brand is expanding its Steamfresh range in the United Kingdom with the debut of three ready meals: Spinach & Ricotta Tortelloni with Vegetables & Pesto (350g); Mediterranean Vegetables & Pasta in Tomato Sauce (400g); and Mushroom Tagliatelle in a Creamy Sauce (400g). The launch taps into high consumer demand for convenient, simple-to-cook, tasty and nutritious meals by offering shoppers a healthy option suited for a midweek lunch or dinner.

Functional midweek dinners now make up 45% of meal occasions in Britain’s steaming vegetables frozen segment, according to a Kantar Research report. Consumers are leading busy lives, and many are looking for nutritious meal options which are easy and quick to prepare. With practicality, health and enjoyment scoring as the top three most important attributes for consumers shopping in this segment, Birds Eye is catering to the nation’s tastes and providing an opportunity for retailers to capitalize on this demand through the Steamfresh meals range.

The new products have been carefully created and balanced to blend a variety of high quality vegetables with pasta. Steamfresh offerings are made to be prepared in microwave ovens, where the vegetables can benefit from being steamed in the packaging, as steaming helps retain more nutrients, taste and texture in the vegetables  vs. being boiled. Furthermore, they take just six to eight minutes to prepare (depending on the variant) and also deliver one to two portions of the NHS-recommended “five-a-day” consumption of vegetables and fruits.

“Currently, there are minimal ready meal options in the market that combine great taste, convenience, and health in one,” said Jess Ali, Birds Eye UK & Ireland’s head of brand marketing for vegetable, potato and plant-based products. “Our latest additions to the Steamfresh portfolio show commitment to helping consumers eat more high quality vegetables through an easy to prepare frozen format and will help retailers drive further growth in this segment.”

The new products build on the success of Birds Eye’s existing Steamfresh Creamy Pasta SKUs, which have posted a phenomenal year-on-year growth rate of 73%, according to Nielsen figures for sales during the 52-week period ending January 27, 2024. The Steamfresh vegetable portfolio also holds a 71% share of the steamed vegetable frozen segment.

The launch is being supported by a £2.7 million media blitz which will include a brand new “Above-The-Line” campaign that will run from May through July. The investment will feature a nationwide rollout of billboards and shopper activation as well as include support from a digital and PR angle.

Birds Eye’s new Steamfresh meals range, priced at an MRSP of £3.50, is available now at Asda stores. Beginning April 7, they will be on sale at Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Iceland outlets, with Tesco following in September.