Revolutionising frozen food

As consumers increasingly look for more convenient, healthy food options that deliver on flavour, could the recent launch of Deliciously Ella’s frozen food range help revolutionise the category and change consumer perceptions?

It’s been years since I last bought a frozen ready meal. The only reason I visit the freezer aisles is for peas and the odd late night trip for some Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra Core (a girl’s got to have some guilty pleasures in life!). I naturally assume that frozen ready meals are of poorer quality, full of nasties, and lacking in flavour. And who can blame me, given the bad rep frozen ready meals have had over the years (*cough* 2013 horse meat scandal)?

I imagine I’m not alone on this subject and it would most likely take a new kind of frozen ready meal to draw rejecters back into the category. It feels like the Deliciously Ella frozen range has the potential to achieve this and here’s why:

  • Plant-based – Deliciously Ella is known for her veggie-focused recipes/products and this new range could provide a good mid-week or easy meal solution to help consumers cut-back on meat. All the packaging states that it’s ‘vegan friendly’ and reassures on taste with simple and clear ingredient listings and imagery on front of pack to aid decision-making.
  • Fresh and healthy – While I haven’t reviewed every frozen meal on the market, I would guess that most of them contain some additives and stabilisers to ensure longevity and boost flavour. The fact that this range doesn’t contain anything artificial is a real plus and could encourage more brands to look for ways to offer healthier alternatives.
  • Practical – The range is based on meals for two, so even if you’re buying for yourself, you can have leftovers the next day. This could help minimise food waste (and the dreaded guilt of having to throw food out!). It’s also priced quite reasonably at £3.99 – £4.99 for a meal for two and all the packaging is recyclable – something that could help consumers feel more virtuous in their food choice.
  • High quality – Deliciously Ella has huge brand-building success and credibility for creating fresh, healthy and great tasting food. Don’t get me wrong, there are other ‘healthier’ brands in the frozen food category (like Amy’s Kitchen). But few have the brand capital of Deliciously Ella, so this feels like a real opportunity to drive innovation and help lapsed/rejecter consumers re-engage with frozen food.

So, while the Deliciously Ella frozen range won’t necessarily be right for all occasions (roughly 45-minute cook time and you’d need to buy/prepare side dishes to go with it), it does have the potential to provide a practical solution for consumers looking for genuinely healthier meals that don’t compromise on taste or break the bank.

I’m excited to see whether it can shake up the category and help drive innovation. Particularly if, like the rest of the brand’s products, it becomes available to the masses in Tesco and Sainsbury’s (it’s currently only available at Whole Foods and theough Ocado). Watch this space…

And if healthy eating is something you’d like to learn more about, you’ve come to the right place. We conducted a large-scale study earlier this year and identified six discreet typologies to help grow your business. Kate Razor would be happy to tell you about the latest consumer perspectives and trends. Drop her a line.