Sobeys serves up new ready-made meals

The retailer targets the time-strapped with a new in-store offering and complementary digital campaign.


Sobeys is taking on frozen pizza and takeout, offering up new ready-to-heat home meal replacements and using a heavily digital media strategy to drive awareness.

The aptly named Easy Meals are now available across Sobeys and Safeway locations and are being merchandised near the meal counters of those stores as a fresh option.

The meals are specifically aimed at busy, under-pressure shoppers looking for nutritious but convenient meals, says Gillian Kerr, VP of strategic marketing at Sobeys. About 40% of those kinds of consumers have frozen pizza regularly or have takeout at least twice a month, she says.

“You can’t do pizza all the time,” Kerr says, and supermarkets face the tall order of providing more options to shoppers. The goal with Easy Meals was to offer up a range of options for people with different needs and provide what Kerr says are wholesome meals, particularly crucial for guilt-ridden parents who don’t necessarily want to rely on takeout.  The prepared, but not frozen, meals are also meant to be ready-to-go and easy to find in-store, she says.

Those same shoppers are also heavy smartphone users and search for meal solutions online, prompting Sobeys to push awareness of Easy Meals with a digital strategy, led by Gravity Partners and media agency UM. “Everything Made Easy” is meant to be a highly visual, digital-first way to drive trial. Specifically, the campaign includes four 15-second social videos centred on the circumstances their time-strapped target likely find themselves in (like working late or managing after-school hockey) and how Easy Meals can make life simpler.

Gravity Partners developed the product name, logo, brand elements and key messaging for Easy Meals. Sobeys also worked with TruInc for web development, Fish Out of Water for pack design and Xerox for in-store POS.