Blog: There are still good ideas out there

Catherine Sleep | 7 February 2005

Encouraged by good feedback from friends, this weekend I ventured into a newish shop in our town. Its idea is to sell frozen ready meals and desserts cooked with no artificial ingredients and which contain minimum salt, sugar and fat. The owners want to sell homemade food that really does look and taste homemade. Home cooking without the hassle, in other words.

I thought it would be a bit of a gimmick, but actually the food was significantly better than the ready meals you’d find in most supermarkets. My ever sceptical husband insisted on a taste test, so we bought up a few ready meals from the Finest/The Best/Pay the Difference ranges at the supermarkets and even he admitted that the new kid on the block beat the competition hands down.

There is a small premium to pay, but it’s not prohibitive, especially if you keep it for special occasions (because most of the time you’re happy to cook, right?). They have a few good marketing tricks up their sleeve too. For instance, mums-to-be and mothers of newborns get 10% discount an all products for six months. I’ve never seen this kind of promotion but it’s a clever idea. Make shoppers feel special at a time when they’re time-pressed, exhausted and quite possibly feeling haggard, and you might just win their long-term loyalty.

COOK


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