Birds Eye plans Russian push

17 May 2011

LONDON: Birds Eye Iglo is attempting to build on the success of its frozen food lines with a new sales push in Russia - despite local prejudices about the types of products it sells.

The Financial Times reports that the firm's net sales grew by 4% in the first quarter of 2011, following a 2% increase in 2010.

Speaking to the newspaper, Martin Glenn, Birds Eye Iglo's ceo, said that the company had benefited from increased price consciousness among consumers, caused by tough economic conditions.

Glenn said: "Post-recession, people still want great food but there is a far bigger awareness of waste and value than there was, and that works brilliantly for us."

As part of its growth strategy, Birds Eye now plans to sell a range of products across Russia. Currently the company sells to the urban centres of Moscow and St Petersburg only.

Russia is a fast-growth market by European standards. According to data collated by Warc, the nation's GDP growth will hit 4.3% this year - a rate far outstripping western Europeans nations such as Germany (2.5%) and the UK (1.6%).

But Glenn admitted that Russian consumers may take some persuading to buy certain Birds Eye products - such as its famous breadcrumb-coated fish fingers.

"Russian consumers are brought up to believe food is covered with stuff because it's bad quality," he said.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff