Own-label ready meals lack innovation, Bingham and Jones

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Retailers need to be bolder with their own-label ready meals and stop relying on the basics, such as spaghetti Bolognese and lasagne, former food industry rivals Jonny Bingham and David Jones have said.

Speaking to FoodManufacture.co.uk in this podcast, the former Bakkavor and Greencore product developers urged the supermarkets to step outside their comfort zones with ready meals.

“The classics are remaining strong,” said Jones. “There’s not a lot of movement going into new styles and new trends as we thought there would be.”

“Your spag-bols, sausage and mash, and your macaroni and cheeses are strong contenders, but own-label needs to take a chance and a risk and start to move in a different direction.”

New and interesting

Supermarkets should also look at the brands to bring something new and interesting to the market, but not necessarily copy them, they said.

“There’s a tendency for supermarkets to benchmark against other supermarkets,” said Bingham. “To look for a flavour match or a quid [Quantified Ingredient Declerations - a measure of meat content in compound food dishes] match is short-sighted …”

“Retailers have got to be bolder about not trying to emulate other retailers and brands and to have the confidence with their own development to produce something different.”

The pair began their own product development company earlier this year and have since advised many major retailers and manufacturers.

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