Aunt Bessie has gone under the knife and ditched the specs in a bid to boost the frozen brand's appeal with younger consumers.

Sales have risen just 1.7% over the past year to £151m [Nielsen 52w/e July 2010] and her facelift is part of a major packaging revamp, range rejig and £6.5m ad push for the brand that kicks off next month.

As well as giving Aunt Bessie a new look, the brand has changed its Yorkshire puddings packaging to feature bigger product images on-pack and a new 'irresistible' cue.

It has also renamed its Batters range of puds as "the friendlier" Home Bake Yorkshires in its attempt to inject growth into the £47.5m Yorkshires range, sales of which have been flat [Nielsen 52w/e 10 July 2010].

Its frozen fruit pies have been given more contemporary packaging, too, following a 6.2% drop in sales to £4.2m.

And the size of the core Perfect For 2 pies has been reduced from 550g to 375g, with the price dropping 49p to £1, while its Family Bramley Apple Pie has switched from 700g to 605g, with a 10p price cut to £1.59.

Aunt Bessie's has upped last year's ad spend by £500,000 and is kicking off a new TV push with characters Margaret and Mabel next month.

Marketing manager Lorraine Crowe admitted sales had "stagnated" because it was mainly targeting older consumers. It now planned to focus its marketing and NPD around a target audience of young mums. "If we are going to grow, we need to stop relying on a target audience of older consumers and also shout louder about NPD this year," she said.