That's the view of Leendert Den Hollander, chief executive at Young's Seafood, who added that brand execution and providing consumers with “new news” were also more important.
Speaking at the British Frozen Food Federation’s (BFFF’s) annual conference in Warwickshire, Den Hollander said Increasing sales and consumption “is not always about finding an NPD silver bullet”.
Referring to the fish sector, he added: “It is also about telling people how to cook, what flavours to add, what to put with it and providing the inspiration for a fish menu. Innovation is important, but so is the name of the brand and these other small elements.”
Den Hollander also urged manufacturers and retailers not to adopt a one-size fits all approach to innovation and marketing.
He said the days of brands adopting “national plans” were long gone and said they had to drill down to a lower level and target specific types of shoppers.
‘Execute it brilliantly’
“You need to have facts, insight and shopper-based plans. You have to segment who you are talking to, know what matters to them and then execute it brilliantly.”
He showcased efforts by Young's in this area, highlighting how its Jamie Oliver frozen fish brand had attracted people “who had not eaten our products before”.
Similarly, he said the company's Gastro range, priced about £4, was “not for everyone”. But it showed how the firm was tailoring its offerings to cover the whole market by “understanding the different shoppers in different retailers”.
He said the sole mission of Young's was “category growth” and outlined ambitious plans to persuade people to eat two portions of fish a week. It currently stands at 1.4.
If this was successful it would open up an additional £2bn market, of which “Young's would happily take its share”, he told delegates.
Den Hollander said Young’s had an additional four insights that it had to get across to consumers for this to happen. He said the firm had to promote the benefits of “ready frozen” goods, present the health benefits of eating more fish, show that consumption growth was compatible with sustainable fishing and work to increase the frequency of consumption as much as trying to entice new customers.
“We should not simply focus on those who won’t eat frozen or eat fish. We must focus on increasing the frequency and try to identify how we can help consumers do that,” he added.