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May, 2024

New On the Menu challenges social stigma around frozen food with new brand strategy

On The Menu, a prominent frozen ready-meal brand under the Patties Food Group umbrella, is hoping to overcome ‘freezer shame’ with a refreshed brand strategy and national campaign in collaboration with TBWAMelbourne.

The campaign aims to redefine the frozen food category and challenge the ‘freezer shame’ stigma associated with frozen meals.

On The Menu has been a staple in the freezer aisle for 15 years, offering a wide range of ready-to-eat meals. Despite being a major player in Australia’s frozen food sector, the brand has struggled with negative perceptions about frozen food. The new campaign, titled ‘Blame It On The Menu’, features a series of tongue-in-cheek advertisements, including a 30-second spot set in a dentist’s office.

Planning Director at TBWAMelbourne, Zac Martin, said Australians as a nation are very judgement around food choices, particularly frozen meals.

“There is a stereotype that if you eat frozen meals, you’re lazy or a loner. In reality, you’re anything but,” he said.

Chief Marketing & Growth Officer at Patties Food Group, Anand Surujpal, emphasised the need to appeal to both existing and new buyers.

“To grow On The Menu, we need to appeal to pre-prepared meal consumers and allow them to enjoy their choices without feeling judged. The new platform marks an exciting new chapter for not only On The Menu but the freezer category as a whole,” Surujpal stated.

The media strategy for the campaign, delivered by United, includes Broadcast TV, BVOD, YouTube, Social, Radio and OOH. Patties Food Group, the parent company of On The Menu, is Australia’s largest producer of pre-prepared food, with a portfolio of brands including Four’N Twenty, Herbert Adams, Nanna’s, Lean Cuisine, Fitness Outcomes, and Ruffie Rustic Foods. Operating for over 55 years, its brands are available across retail, petrol and convenience, food service, and QSR.

Chief Creative Officer at TBWAMelbourne, Paul Reardon, said the team were after a storytelling approach with a simple structure, that put the product at its core, and had a great tone of voice.

“This new platform offers us that. And! It’s really fun to write for. That’s a good sign for longevity. We’re looking forward to doing a lot more of OTM’s stories,” he said.