BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Bruno's here billed prepared frozen food as a convenient meal option in a recent full-page ad that tied-in frozen dinners, entrees, breakfasts, side dishes and desserts.
Done in conjunction with Campbell Sales, Camden, N.J., the ad appeared in several of the chain's markets, a source said. One spot published in an Atlanta newspaper read, "Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner. Come To Bruno's For Super Discounts On The 'Real' Fast Food!" Items were offered at reduced costs, many using multiple pricing.
Featured products included Swanson Hungry Man dinners and pot pies, Home Style entrees, Great Starts breakfast entrees and burritos, Fun Feast kids dinners, and Mac & More macaroni-and-cheese side dishes.
Also advertised were Pepperidge Farm breads, layer cakes, fruit dumplings and apple turnovers plus Mrs. Paul's premium fish fillets, Budget Portions fish sticks and Health Treasures fish fillets and sticks.
A full-page ad for frozen meals is not unusual for Bruno's because it is one of the chain's leading frozen-food categories, the source said, adding that Bruno's has done similar ads with Stouffer's, Weight Watchers and The Budget Gourmet.
The segment has seen a revival in recent years, the source noted. "For a long time, frozen dinners were taboo; they weren't doing anything. With the new [product] introductions, the whole category has picked up.
"You have some good quality out there. A lot of people still have somewhat of a misconception about frozens -- that the quality is not there. But it is nowadays; it definitely has the quality and the taste. It's not a home-cooked meal, but it's a good substitute."
Metropolitan Atlanta is a particularly strong market for frozen meals, and Bruno's regularly runs frozens-only ads there, the source said. "I think it's the income level. People in Atlanta are much faster-paced, so they're more convenience-oriented."
Though not currently expanding its frozens space, Bruno's is realigning it for each category, creating more room for the strong dinners and entrees segment, the source said.
Besides frequent advertising, the chain also ties in other frozen items, such as breads, with frozen meals to spur sales for that category and the frozens section overall, the source said.
"The whole department picks up. It's not just what's advertised; you see it across the board," the source said. "To get [shoppers] in the aisle and get them looking, that's half of it."