Birds Eye brings premium fish under the Captain Birds Eye range as it waves goodbye to its Inspirations sub-brand

Birds Eye is relaunching its premium frozen fish range, Inspirations, which will now feature  under the new reinvigorated Captain

The move has not been taken lightly – it follows lengthy research to show much greater appeal with new shoppers and findability and standout with existing shoppers

Consumers love Captain Birds Eye; not only is he the number one food icon in the UK[1], but in the last year the Captain Birds Eye range has contributed £141m to frozen fish, which has grown +5.4% ahead of the market at +0.9%.

After significant research and testing, Birds Eye has made the decision to wave goodbye to its Inspirations brand across its fish portfolio. Instead, the range of premium Recipe, Lightly Dusted and Battered Fish will now join the Captain Birds Eye family range; a portfolio that has contributed £141m to the frozen fish category and grown +5.4%, ahead of the market at +0.9%[2].

Rebecca Nascimento, UK General Marketing Manager- Fish, states: “It isn’t a move that we have taken lightly. We’ve invested heavily in research to ensure this is the right move for the brand and our customers. The Captain is our most distinctive asset – he’s the number one food icon in the UK[3].

“In celebration of his 50th Anniversary last year, a contemporary-looking Captain stepped onto the deck revealing a genuine, authentic side of the character, which has helped to capture the imaginations of a modern generation. With our new frontman in place, it’s now the right time for us to bring the Inspirations range into the Captain’s fold – elevating Frozen Fish through a new premium positioning and providing families nationwide with real food, simply made but with an inspired twist. What’s more, the range will benefit from the halo effect of our £7m marketing campaign.”

The packaging certainly packs a punch on shelf. The new look brings the flavours to life with fresh ingredients, supported with the prominent brand icon.

“Almost half the country has bought a Captain Birds Eye product in the last year[4],” Nascimento continues. “We’re confident that by bringing our premium range on board, we will attract new shoppers to the brand and frozen fish category. This was rubberstamped when we put the premium Captain packaging into testing. New shoppers expressed greater appeal and existing shoppers told us that findability and standout was significantly higher.”

Captain Birds Eye is a staple of family meal times and, by extending the portfolio to include the formerly known Inspirations range, the brand will add +£23.3m to the Captain’s range.

“As the market leader in frozen fish (21.8% +0.2ppt latest 12 weeks[5]), it is our job to continually drive interest and value in to the category. We have a vision to increase the nation’s consumption of fish in line with NHS guidelines for a healthier population – at least two portions of fish a week, including one of oily fish. Fish is the biggest and most iconic part of our portfolio, so this will always be a key focus,” concludes Nascimento.

Birds Eye enlisted BrandMe’s packaging design and repositioning expertise as part of the brand revitalisation. Coulter Patton, BrandMe’s Associate Creative Director, says: “Our challenge was to redefine this premium range by harnessing the highly distinctive Birds Eye brand assets and using them to create a unique set of premium equities. Without the need for a sub-brand, the new design beams confidence under the Captain and delivers greater clarity to the portfolio both functionally and emotionally, successfully lifting and refreshing the range look and feel.”

[1] Research commissioned by One Poll amongst 2,000 respondents, 9th – 11th August 2017

[2] Nielsen Data Latest 52 weeks to 26.01.19 – Coated Fish, Fish Fingers, Recipe Fish

[3] Research commissioned by One Poll amongst 2,000 respondents, 9th – 11th August 2017

[4] Kantar data to 27th Jan 2019

[5] Nielsen Data Latest 12 weeks to 26.01.19