Irish company Strong Roots, which aims to shake up the frozen food sector with healthy convenient options, has secured a deal with UK retailer Waitrose. From February, Strong Roots will be available in 200 Waitrose stores across the UK. The brand, founded by Dublin-man Samuel Dennigan (31), is already listed in nine Whole Foods stores in the UK and is one of their top frozen sellers.
In just 12 months, revenue at Strong Roots soared by over 1000pc and its signature product, a frozen take on the sweet potato, secured nationwide listings in Ireland through Musgrave, Dunnes and Tesco. The chain will stock Strong Roots’ first product, Oven Baked Sweet Potato, and its latest product Kale and Quinoa burgers with the view to supplying further products as they come on stream in 2017.
Speaking about the magnitude of the contract Samuel says, “Waitrose is an ideal launch partner for us as we build our presence in the UK market. Our association with Waitrose in addition to our existing partnership with Whole Foods reinforces our visibility as a premium proposition. We see major potential for significant growth in this category both in the UK and other markets like the gulf.”
Strong Roots will invest over €1 million into a UK marketing campaign which includes a strong focus on digital and experiential activity throughout 2017 / 18. Research conducted by an Bord Bía* suggests that shoppers browse the frozen aisle differently to other areas of the store and are unlikely to open a freezer unless they have already decided to buy the product, so promoting ahead of this key decision, through a combination of advertising and innovation is key.
Samuel Dennigan has the fruit & vegetable industry in his blood, having worked for his family’s business, one of Ireland’s main fresh produce vegetable distributors for 10 years before striking out on his own. Samuel worked across all parts of the business, from the fruit market pitch on Mary’s Lane to procurement and eventually to sales and marketing, where he managed several vegetable brands. His brand Strong Roots has grown a cult following in Ireland particularly with millennials and Ireland’s ‘FitFam’ community who prioritize a healthy lifestyle and convenience.
A spokesperson for Waitrose says, “We are very pleased to be the partner chosen by Strong Roots to launch these two new lines into the mainstream UK market.”
Samuel plans to introduce eight new products to the Strong Roots line in 2017 which will be announced in the coming months.
For further information contact:
Astrid Brennan, FleishmanHillard, DL: 01 6188 475, E:[email protected]
*Kantar, 12 weeks to 07 Dec ’14 *Understanding the Frozen Category from a Consumer Perspective – April 2014