The votes are in for Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ 2016 Readers’ Choice Best New Retail Products contest, part 2. Congratulations to Kerry Foods, London, for placing third with 530 votes for its Men’s Health frozen ready meals.

Marina Mayer, editor-in-chief of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods and the creator of the Best New Retail Products contest, talked exclusively with Claire Lynch, assistant brand manager, to discuss more in-depth about the contest, the “winning” product and what’s in store for the future.


Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: First off, congratulations on being named one of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ Top 5 Readers’ Choice winners in 2016. What does this recognition mean to you, your company, your products and your consumers?

Claire Lynch: We are delighted to be placed on in the Top 5 readers’ choice winners for 2016. Our company is passionate about the future of food. We love developing new and innovative meal solutions to suit the ever-changing desires and needs of our consumers. We take great pride and care in what we do and how we make our food. Achieving third place means we’ve been recognized for our values, so we couldn’t be happier with the result.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: Your new retail product—Men’s Health frozen ready meals—was nominated by Refrigerated & Frozen Foods’ editor-in-chief, Marina Mayer. What features does this new product hold that would allow it to even be nominated? What makes it different from other products on the supermarket shelf?

Lynch: The Men’s Health Kitchen range taps into the consumer need for balanced, high-protein meals – a first of its kind in the frozen ready meal market. Staying true to Men’s Health’s core nutritional values, the nine bold recipes all contain at least one of your five a day, are a source of fiber, high in protein and low in fat, sugar, salt and oil which is what the Men’s Health reader was crying out for.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: Why develop this type of product?

Lynch: Men’s Health UK is a trusted brand with over 3 million engaged consumers across its magazine, website and social channels as well as the Survival of the Fittest event series. The brand is a leading source of information for men aspiring to lead healthy, active lives and is considered the “epitome of health.” As it is so highly regarded for food and nutrition advice, the brand resonates strongly with both readers and non-readers, making them the perfect partner. The range was developed as a consistent lifestyle choice, aimed at enticing consumers who are willing to pay a premium price for nutritionally balanced meals made from natural ingredients.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: What goes into developing a new product?

Lynch: Cross-functional team work, a combination of Kerry Foods’ and Hearst-Rodale UK’s expertise, innovation and awareness of food trends and the marketplace we operate in.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: Any unique features to the product’s packaging?

Lynch: The design brief was to create a look that resonates strongly with consumers who are looking for high-quality, protein-packed, nutritionally balanced meals. Our design agency WowMe!, London, developed a design that Men’s Health readers are familiar with, featuring eye-popping and appetizing photography. For example, the food on front of pack isn’t shot on a plate or in a bowl, which is a first in the frozen category – it is in line with the editorial photography style of Men’s Health and their approach to shooting food in the magazine itself.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: This new product raked in 530 votes, placing third. How did you go about accruing so many votes? What was your plan?

Lynch: Internally, we sent numerous emails around to our team members asking them to vote and share with their friends and families. We also sent a note about it on our weekly communications newsletter, which is circulated to all in our office. Finally, we sent it to our licensing partners Hearst Magazines UK for them to circulate and spread the message.

Refrigerated & Frozen Foods: What is on the horizon for your company come 2017?

Lynch: Kerry Foods’ purpose is to delight the tastes of tomorrow. Therefore, we will continue to look for new ways to bring exciting and innovate meal solutions to our customers and consumers.