Food retailer Iceland today launched a new home shopping package which will allow worried parents to keep their student children supplied with food while away at college or university.

The 'Student Survival Pack' is the brainchild of student, Ben Dutton, who has just returned to Leeds Metropolitan University after completing a year's placement at Iceland's head office. He suggested the idea after researching* students' eating habits and finding that most struggle to shop sensibly and eat a balanced diet. Despite the fact that 72 per cent receive family contributions towards their food shopping, figures show 45 percent of students skip meals, 78 per cent miss breakfast and overall they spend 22 per cent of their weekly grocery budget on alcohol.

The Iceland initiative now means parents can ensure their offspring eat square meals by ordering a two week supply of food and groceries for £40.00, which compares with a student's average weekly spend of £29.82. This is delivered to the student's door and is accompanied by recipe ideas and a personalised message, taken at the same time as the order.

Ben, 21, from Southport, Merseyside, says; "When you're at university with a limited budget and no transport, it is really difficult to shop and plan balanced meals. While at Iceland I realised their nation-wide home shopping service could really help students. But, they had to provide a simple solution which would take the hassle out of meal planning and allow parents to order easily. The only thing students will be disappointed with is Iceland has elected not to include booze!"

The research also revealed the lengths to which some students will go in order to get food. Examples cited include raiding skips at the back of supermarkets, kissing someone and doing a jig in a record shop.

The Student Survival Pack is designed to provide breakfasts, snacks, drinks and 14 evening meals, together with essentials like toilet tissue. A vegetarian version is available. It can be ordered by telephoning 0870 242 2242.

Iceland is marketing the pack as a three month trial. If successful it will be sold on the Internet as well as by telephone.

For further information:

Hilary Berg/Jeanette Riley
Iceland Press Office
Tel: 01244 842941


Editor's Note
*Research was carried out for Iceland by Market Research Solutions Ltd.

Iceland was the first food retailer to pioneer nation-wide home delivery in 1997. In 1998 the company was also the first to offer nation-wide telephone home shopping and then nation-wide Internet shopping from October 1999. The service covers 97 per cent of the UK population.

Student Survival Pack orders are made by telephoning 0870 242 2242. Customers speak to a customer service advisor, who will arrange payment via Switch or any major credit card and take a personal message for the recipient. Customers can select a two hour delivery time slot between 10 am and 8 pm. Next day delivery is available if the order is placed before 3 pm (except Sundays).

Orders are transmitted electronically to the student's nearest Iceland store, where trained staff pick and pack the shopping, and it is delivered to their door in a refrigerated van.

The Survival Pack is available to students living within a 10 mile radius of their local Iceland store (a three mile radius within the M25 area).


Photography
Photographs of Ben Dutton are available from the press office. Photographs of Ben dressed as a six foot chicken with chairman, Malcolm Walker, are available from the Press Association Bulletin Board.


RESEARCH RESULTS

Students' average weekly expenditure on food and drink is £29.82.

Students spend 22 percent of their grocery budget on alcohol.

Male students spend considerably more than females on food and drink (mean scores of £34.23 and £25.64 per week respectively).

Students studying sports and business spend more on food and drink than those studying science (£33.90 and £32.62 versus £25.49 respectively).

Male students buy considerably more take away food than females (72 per cent compared with 58 per cent). Men spend 10 per cent of their budget on takeaways, whereas women spend six per cent.

Significantly fewer females spend money on ready meals (40 per cent versus 58 per cent).

Home cooked meals received the highest average proportion of spend (56 per cent) than ready meals (8 per cent), takeaways (8 per cent) and alcohol (22 per cent).

Over half of the students interviewed carry shopping home by foot (58 per cent) and 32 per cent travel by car. Over half (53 per cent) claimed they never use public transport.

Only 13 percent of students have used a home shopping service.

72 percent said their family contributed towards their food shopping. Almost half (47 percent) receive a regular allowance for food. 21 percent receive food parcels when relatives visit and 13 percent are sent food parcels.

79 percent try to eat a balanced diet but almost half (45 percent) skip meals. 78 percent skip breakfast.

Unusual food combinations - students interviewed had eaten Weetabix with peanut butter, spaghetti bolognese sandwiches and corned beef with pasta sauce.


ICELAND : BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Iceland Foods plc has 760 stores across the UK and Ireland which are visited by 45% of the population's shoppers. It employs more than 22,000 people nation-wide, recruiting and training locally. The company has performed consistently well over the last three years, and recently announced a nine per cent like-for-like sales increase over the previous year. It has an annual turnover of £1.9 billion.

Iceland recently merged with Booker plc, the UK's largest cash and carry business. The Iceland Group now has a combined turnover of around £6 billion.

Iceland sells a wide range of frozen, chilled and grocery products and although a frozen food specialist, frozen food now represents less than half of sales.

Iceland believes in providing customers with 'food you can trust' and has become known for its pioneering stances on issues such as GM, artificial colours and flavours and organic food.

The company offers more ways to shop than any other food retailer - the traditional way, a home delivery service for customers using Iceland stores and shopping from home via telephone or the Internet. Iceland has recently signed an agreement with Cable & Wireless and Telewest TV for interactive home shopping services.

Iceland's ethical and environmental approach to business has led to the company working alongside Greenpeace to develop and sell its Kyoto range of environmentally-friendly fridge freezers, at no price premium. The company has a 10 per cent share of the UK freezer market and sells only 'green' appliances.