The firm wants to re-invigorate the brand, using new recipes, cooking techniques and a major marketing campaign, as it tries to take the challenge to its competitors in the market.
City analysts have said that the move is an overdue attempt to reclaim Goodfellas’ place as the leading manufacturer of frozen pizzas after owners, Northern Foods was “seriously mismanaged” for a number of years.
Julian Wilde, food group director at financial specialists Rollits, told Food Manufacture.co.uk: “Up until 2005, Goodfellas was the number one pizza brand and frankly well ahead of the competition. However changes to management and the departure of some key bosses meant that the brand slipped considerably.”
Wilde blamed Northern’s decision to centralise its brand management as a key factor in Goodfellas slippage, which he described as a “recipe for messing up a great brand”.
The brand’s short-term fate was sealed in 2009 with the merger of two of its competitors, Dr Oetker and Schwarz, an American firm that traded in the European frozen pizza market under the Chicago Town brand.
Before this, the market share was split between the three at about 30% each. Since the merger, Dr Oetker and Schwarz have claimed leadership of the market, which currently generates £400M sales a year in the UK.
However following a takeover by 2 Sisters Food Group boss Ranjit Boparan earlier this year, Northern is now making a push for market leadership once again.
The firm admitted that the brand had lost its way over the past 3 years and said it was “aiming to get back to its Italian roots” to re-establish its value.
The rebranding follows visits to Italy to research flavours, hone new techniques and trial new ingredients. These include processes such as resting the dough and baking over Italian stones.
The firm said that the new packaging was designed to “appeal to the desire for both quality and value in the frozen food category”. It will feature a return to the original green and red colouring with photography and detailed ingredient and product stories.
Carol Berry, frozen pizza business sector director, said: “We’ve listened to customers’ ever-growing desire for both taste and value and are seizing the initiative, offering UK shoppers great tasting pizza for all their different needs and occasions. We’re immensely proud of our new products and they are the culmination of a long, painstaking and dedicated process to ensure every detail is perfect, from branding to the products themselves.”
A new advertising campaign is set to hit UK TV screens this month but Wilde believes reclaiming the number one spot in the market, may be a tough task.
“There are some better quality people involved nowadays who certainly know what they are doing. It is very important to get Goodfellas back where it came from, but once you allow a brand to slip as it did, it is very difficult to re-establish it,” he said.