Redefining the ready meal


Charlie Bigham's Pie.jpg


Charlie Bigham’s


Adam Morgan

What we did:

— Identity

— Positioning

— Strategy

The initial launch of Charlie Bigham’s high-end ready meals in Waitrose originally transformed the ready meals category in the 90s. However, this success meant that soon all the other major retailers followed suit and with that, Charlie Bigham’s clear differentiation was eroded.

Struggling for differentiation

While Bigham’s could claim to have superior ingredients, it was struggling for differentiation and was under pressure from the supermarkets to deliver growth in a very short timeframe.

A stronger identity

Working with a core team eatbigfish embarked on a process to help Charlie Bigham’s revitalise the brand and regain its challenger spirit. We designed a ‘fast-track’ version of our core Challenger Identity process in order to quickly and efficiently create a stronger sense of identity (and the ideas to bring it to life).

Celebrating ‘twosomes’

The breakthrough came not from a more conventional ‘eating occasions’ segmentation strategy as initially thought, but rather from listening to customers talk about a moment in the week that was absent – date nights for busy married couples. From this insight we helped the core team develop a strong strategic brand identity, and branding agency Big Fish (good friends but no relation) turned the strategy into the creative notion of celebrating ‘twosomes’, which was brought to life on pack, in copy and across their marketing channels.

The Twosomes, illustration by Simon Pilsbury -

The Twosomes, illustration by Simon Pilsbury -

Twentyfold increase in sales

Charlie Bigham’s experience a twentyfold increase in sales, becoming the fastest growing ready meal in the UK. The rebrand won a Marketing Society Award for Excellence in 2011.

The work with eatbigfish was fundamental in helping us get clear on what we stood for as a brand
— Tom Allchurch, Chief Marketing Officer