“The whole category dips in the summer – what can we do?”

Bisto Dinners: Maintaining and uplifting sales whilst competitors experienced their seasonal decline.

Project 1: Creation of a charity partnership promotion (founded on unique audience insight). Partnering with Help for Heroes.
Project 2:  Boosting awareness and fixture footfall via 
press ads and new website.


Almost 2/3 of households buy Frozen Ready Meals each year. 75% are bought by those on the lowest incomes & most affected by welfare cuts. And for Bisto, single person households are key – dominated by empty nesters symptomatic of an ageing population.

As a promotional mechanic, the brand’s already low price of product meant that price reductions weren’t an option. So looking deeper, we found that due to EDLP, there was a very low level of thematic or on-pack promotion. We also knew that older age groups have the greatest participation in these, and thus, Bisto’s target audience were amongst the most promotionally active.

The strategy became clear: increase purchasing/loyalty amongst existing buyers by attracting them via a stand out on-pack promotion that they would notice at the fixture. 


Insight: our analysis of audience data showed that both Help for Heroes and Bisto shared very similar audience attitudes and behaviours. 

For Bisto, this would be a fitting partnership as a promotion needed to say something positive about the brand. Our audience insights also demonstrated that real cash prizes would be the most powerful motivator – and be ‘win’ based with a large number of lower value prizes (= ‘instant win’ rather than ‘instant lose’).


Following careful planning, we balanced prize structure and budget to deliver the most compelling promotion: every frozen ready meal pack contained a chance to win £5 for you, £5 for H4H. The dual-branded promotion was conveyed with a high impact design to create the feeling that cash was literally within reach in the freezer. 

Our next job was boosting awareness – publicising it away from store.
Following media planning via our media partners, this was executed via a press campaign across targeted Trinity Mirror titles. Supported by the creation of the brand’s first website, which featured the range, H4H and the promotion.

Results chevron


Bisto defied the FRM category dip in Summer, maintaining, and uplifting sales whilst competitor brands experienced their seasonal decline – driven by buyers purchasing less frequently and leaving the category.

Bisto’s growth came from existing shoppers becoming more engaged in the brand and buying more and more often. (Frequency +7%/£650k, AWP increasing by 5%/£450k Source: Kantar)

Data also showed new shoppers buying into Bisto during the advertising activity.
FRM shoppers had switched spend to Bisto over the campaign period from smaller brands, as well as added Bisto to their FRM repertoire.