Scandal aids brand loyalty

Birds Eye put on burger sales as a result of the horsemeat scandal. Fish Chargills are a meat-free alternative while frozen veg sell all year round.

NO barbecue would be complete without a burger. Yet 2013’s horsemeat scandal put many customers off the summer staple food.

However frozen food specialist, Birds Eye, reports that its sales grew in the wake of the discovery of horsemeat in burgers and other frozen meat products last year. “We gained an incremental 200,000 households as a result of the horsemeat scandal,” said a company spokesperson, “which meant our burgers flew off the shelves and it shows the trust consumers have in our brand.
“According to Nielsen, in the four weeks to May 11 2013, as people stocked up for the barbecue season, our burger sales grew more than 70%. At the same time the wider market was up only 0.1%.”


The company says it responded to the crisis by improving sourcing and food security with what it calls a “triple-lock DNA testing system”. It has also shortened its supply chain by buying all the beef for its UK burgers from British and Irish farms.
For those who want an alternative to slap on the barbie, Birds Eye suggests its new Fish Chargrills. They are, the spokesperson claimed: “the ideal choice for those looking for a light and healthy dinner option. Offering the tastiest chargrilled fish with less than 3% fat, Chargrills can be enjoyed barbecued in the tray provided.”
And the frozen food giant says its frozen vegetable lines continue to perform well throughout the year. But it reckons summer favourites include Veg Fusions, Steambags and natural veg. Peas and petits pois are a more seasonal vegetable so have stronger sales in the colder months, it says.