In November 2013, I wrote a piece about the documentary Iceland Foods: Life in the Freezer Cabinet (BBC2).
In November 2014, we saw that they offered free delivery on orders of £35 and over, provided one is in their catchment area.
As luck would have it, we were. We had intended on ordering their lobster tails, 2 for £10 along with the Five Bird Roast, also £10.
N.B.: Before I go into detail, I have no commercial connection or financial interest in Iceland. I speak purely as a customer. Also be aware that product lines and prices are subject to change.
How it works
The Iceland website is nicely laid out and easy to follow.
However, it is like Waitrose’s in the sense that one sees items listed that disappear once one logs on. Items are area- or depot-specific. In our case, we were unable to order the lobster tails and Jules Clairon brandy (£13).
When one starts the online shop for home delivery, it is necessary to key in one’s postcode. Iceland then confirm immediately whether they deliver to that area.
Customers can book a slot only one week in advance. Slots have two-hour windows.
The food products have an excellent amount of information, including country of origin and customer reviews.
The deliveries are the quickest I’ve ever experienced, each one lasting no more than a minute. The drivers are courteous and presentable.
We have tried Iceland’s free home delivery twice now and will certainly order again.
Our two orders totalled just over £35 apiece.
The fresh vegetables were marvellous and last for several days. We ordered a huge cauliflower for £1.69, nearly twice as large as those from the leading British supermarkets. The broccoli (£1) was also huge and equally delicious. The leeks were also generous (89p for 500g). Each vegetable could easily serve a family of four or five. The Irish mushrooms (£1 for 300g) were every bit as good as an Iceland customer described them online: firm and buttery.
Iceland’s dairy products are of high quality. The double cream is comparable in price to that of leading supermarkets: £1.00 for 284ml versus £1.10 or so for 300ml. The Meadow Churn butter from Cheshire is outstanding and a bargain at 89p for 250g. It compares most favourably in taste and texture with my favourite, Président, which costs twice as much.
The cured meats are very good. The Serrano brand Tapas Mix was £1.50 for 125g. It featured 28 slices of chorizo and salami. The Dutch bacon slices (14 slices for £1.50) was also tasty, as were the British Smoked Streaky Lardons (£1.00 for 200g). The lardons lasted forever and came in handy for various dishes.
We had the Five Bird Roast for Thanksgiving and a few days afterward. It was £10 and we got the suggested eight portions from it. The roast was chicken stuffed with turkey, duck, goose and guinea fowl. It was generously wrapped in bacon and came with a good portion of port glaze. All the meat came from Hungary except for the guinea fowl which was French. The roast was produced and packed in Hungary. If Iceland have this again later in the year, we will certainly buy it.
On our second order earlier in 2015, we ordered some of the speciality meat. Iceland’s supplier Kezie do a great line in exotic offerings such as crocodile burgers (2 for £3), ostrich burgers (2 for £2.50) and kangaroo burgers (2 for £1.50).
Although we were unable to get lobster tails, we did order Arctic Royal’s line-caught Swordfish Loins Skinless and Boneless (4 huge steaks for £7). We have not yet tried them.
After having seen the documentary in 2013, we were curious about Iceland’s Posh Grub (2 chicken breasts for £2.50, origin Poland). We bought the ones stuffed with garlic and herb as well as the ones filled with cheese and ham. They were all right and a decent size but nothing special. The unctuous sauce pictured on the label is at odds with the reality of a small amount of semi-solid filling. That said, for £2.50, we couldn’t really complain.
In short, our favourites are the vegetables, butter and the Five Bird Roast. Kezie’s burgers were also fun to try and would be great for a barbecue. The chocolate covered ice cream ‘donuts’ also look good.
I wish CEO Malcolm Walker and his employees much continued success. Iceland have an excellent selection of fresh food, including meats. They are also always adding new product lines, including ostrich fillets, large scallops, Italian deli meats and gelato. May the Power of Frozen — and fresh — be with them.