Category Captain: Frozen Meals: Unilever

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Category Captain: Frozen Meals: Unilever

11/18/2011

Unilever continues to innovate in the frozen meals aisle through its two popular brands: Bertolli and P.F. Chang’s.

Bertolli is redefining frozen soups and meal kits, which is helping to jump-start the frozen food business during a shaky economic period. Spurred by research that found soup appealing to many different types of consumers -- many of them looking for more restaurant-quality options -- Unilever launched a four-product line of Bertolli Meal Soups. Inspired by Italian restaurants, the restaurant-quality soup line is helping to grow the frozen meal category by bringing in soup buyers.

The Bertolli Family Style Meal Starters line, meanwhile, provides a premium, restaurant-quality meal for a family of five. This is growing category value and volume growth by expanding beyond the meals-for-two concept. It appeals to high-income, larger families. The new Bertolli products are projected to deliver $78 million in retail dollar sales this year.

For its part, Unilever’s P.F. Chang’s brand team is looking to build on the success of its initial entry into the frozen meal category last year. Its newest line is Noodle Entrees, a set of four varieties that appeal to consumers who love Asian cuisine and are looking for restaurant-quality tastes at home. Unilever expects the new line to be 50 percent incremental to its original eight SKUs (Menu Meals for Two), and projects that it will deliver $62 million in retail dollar sales.