Magazine article Marketing

Brand Health Check: Goodfella's

Magazine article Marketing

Brand Health Check: Goodfella's

Article excerpt

The frozen-pizza brand is losing sales, despite steady growth across the sector, writes Jeremy Lee.

Thanks, in part, to an ad campaign by Birds Eye aimed at making products from the freezer aisle more acceptable to cash-strapped consumers, there has been a sharp rise in the popularity of frozen food in general, and frozen pizza in particular. However, Goodfella's has failed to capitalise on this trend.

According to Nielsen, the 15-year-old Northern Foods brand suffered a 15.1% fall in sales in 2009. In contrast, the frozen pizza category as a whole was up more than 5% over the same period.

Competition from rival brands such as Dr Oetker and Chicago Town, as well as own-label products, has highlighted the brand's difficulties While Goodfella's sales slipped to pounds 86m in 2009, Chicago Town's increased by nearly a quarter year on year to almost pounds 100m.

In response, Northern Foods has said it will relaunch the brand with fresh packaging and a TV ad campaign in an attempt to 'better engage with consumers'. It will now offer four ranges -Deep and Thin, Takeaway, Speciale and Pocco's - comprising 33 variants.

Will this be enough to encourage consumers to choose a Goodfella's pizza over all of the other branded and unbranded alternatives cluttering up the freezer cabinet, or will it amount to nothing more than a short-lived tinkering with the brand portfolio?

We asked Chris Ridd, a senior planner at Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw, who works on the Waitrose account, and Dan Hagen, managing partner, strategy at MPG, who has worked on marketing for Tilda Rice, for their views.

DIAGNOSIS - Two industry experts suggest how Goodfella's can give itself a bigger slice

CHRIS RIDD - SENIOR PLANNER, KITCATT NOHR ALEXANDER SHAW

The recession hasn't been good for Goodfella's, judging by the drop in its sales over 2009. It's probably safe to say Northern Foods won't be sending any Christmas cards to everyone's favourite food evangelist, Jamie Oliver, as his attack on the humdrum mass-market persuades us to make more meals from scratch, or at least buy more fresh food.

The tough times apparently meant we were all going to turn into 'super-size-mes', as the good eating habits we'd started to pick up as a nation were all to be ditched in favour of larding out on unsuitable foodstuffs.

Well, it seems that after a small blip, we didn't change that much - although with financial concerns came a need for control, simplification and purification (purging the excess perhaps?), and family goodness.

Therefore, if brands like Goodfella's are to continue to be successful, they need to acknowledge this and be truly relevant. …

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