Case | HBS Case Collection | February 1992 (Revised December 1994)

Birds Eye and the U.K. Frozen Food Industry (A)

by David J. Collis

Abstract

Describes the forty-year evolution of the U.K. frozen food industry, and traces the emergence, dominance, and the decline of Birds Eye. Its success is as a vertically integrated producer, distributor, and marketer of frozen foods that pioneers the industry in the U.K. Its decline as other firms enter all stages of the value chain is seen as a result of its earlier success that yields it an unsustainable strategic position. Examines vertical integration as a strategy, the analytic rationale to be vertically integrated, and the disadvantages of vertical integration.

Keywords: Business Growth and Maturation; Industry Growth; Vertical Integration; Food and Beverage Industry; United Kingdom;

Citation:

Collis, David J. "Birds Eye and the U.K. Frozen Food Industry (A)." Harvard Business School Case 792-074, February 1992. (Revised December 1994.)