Claire Hoyle Head of Marketing for Goodfella’s

Claire Hoyle is Head of Marketing for Goodfella’s, Britain’s fastest growing frozen pizza brand, which is expanding its vegan offering as UK consumers embrace meat free. The brand has also undergone a significant repositioning, introducing updated products and packaging alongside an eye-catching above the line campaign, ‘Made with Respect.’ Claire Hoyle spoke to Wholesale Manager.

What does your job involve?

My role has a wide scope with different challenges every day, mostly looking to drive awareness and distribution of our products, the core range and our NPD. In April, we kicked off a brand relaunch, which included a new campaign platform; that has formed a significant part of my role in recent months.

How would you sum up the Goodfella’s brand’s history?

Goodfella’s was launched in the midnineties – inspired by Italian New York pizzerias – and quickly became established as a family favourite. In line with changing customer demands and societal trends, the brand has evolved through the years, with the latest brand activity bringing us back to the Italian- American culture that made Goodfella’s famous to begin with.

How do frozen pizzas compare with chilled? How is the frozen pizzas category developing?

The total frozen pizza market is in healthy growth, and Goodfella’s is helping to drive overall category performance. Frozen pizzas’ penetration has increased too, with shoppers responding well to the quality and variety of the products available. Typically, we see that frozen pizza attracts a different shopper to chilled, suiting different occasions and appealing in an alternative way.

What are the different eating occasions for frozen pizzas?

Pizza is a well-loved product appealing to many different occasions and shoppers. For Goodfella’s, our primary audience is families, and the convenience of frozen food means it is equally suited to a midweek meal as a big night in. Pizza is a great social product, perfect for any time family and friends come together.

What are your latest innovations to the Goodfellas range? Have you changed your core products?

In line with the new brand campaign, we are making significant updates to our existing range based on customer feedback to adapt to changing preferences. These updates are across our core ranges, which are also having a packaging update to highlight the improved recipes and have greater appeal in store. The new Goodfella’s products outperformed comparable competitor pizzas in taste tests, so we are confident that consumers will respond really well to the updates.

Regarding NPD, we have just launched a new pizza as part of our vegan range – Stone baked Spicy Vegetable Salsa – which offers exciting flavours that appeal to a wide range of shoppers, not just those opting for a vegan diet.

You previously brought out Goodfella’s Vegan Stone baked Falafel. How is it doing?

Our Vegan Stone baked Falafel pizza has surpassed our expectations in the year since its launch. It has brought 94,000 new shoppers to the frozen pizza category1 and sold over £2m in value sales2. Following on from that success, the expansion of our vegan range with our new Vegan Stone baked Spicy Vegetable Salsa Pizza is helping consumers adopt a plant-based diet that doesn’t require a compromise on taste.

What above the line support are you giving Goodfella’s?

We recently launched our biggest-ever media campaign. The £4.2m campaign introduces a new brand character and takes the brand back to the Italian- American roots consumers associate with the brand. The ‘Made with Respect’ activity features The Godmother as a central character and appeals to our core audience of families. The campaign will run across TV, Video on Demand, digital and social channels, putting Goodfella’s front of mind with shoppers and increasing consideration for the category.

How can wholesalers maximise sales from your brand?

Ensuring they are stocking the key products that retailers are looking for will help wholesalers capitalise on the frozen pizza category’s growing popularity. For retailers with larger stores, our vegan products are exceptionally popular and give shoppers more choice, so should be stocked in addition to the core range where opportunity allows.

And finally, how does Goodfellas fit into the Nomad frozen foods portfolio, alongside Birds Eye and Aunt Bessie’s?

Having brought the three brands together, Nomad Foods operates across five of the top 10 meal occasions in the UK, with pizza number eight on that list. A key aim of Nomad Foods is to drive overall growth in the frozen food category by offering products that complement its entire portfolio. That will be achieved by all its brands, including Goodfella’s, remaining successful in their respective areas. As part of the Group, Goodfella’s now has greater scope to reignite consumers’ connection with the brand and capitalise on the strong levels of shopper awareness. No matter what, we will ensure that the Goodfella’s portfolio remains as strong as ever.