Distributor RH Amar is to bring Italy’s top-selling tomato brand, Mutti, to the UK for the first time.

Mutti will be available to wholesalers and cash & carries from January, and RH Amar plans to target the multiple retailers later in the year.

The brand is making its debut with four products initially: canned finely chopped tomatoes and canned peeled tomatoes (both rsp: £1.19/400g), bottled passata (rsp: £1.49/700g) and double-concentrate tomato purée (rsp: £1.09/130g tube).

Mutti became Italy’s best-selling chopped tomato brand in 2005 and now has a 33.9% market share - more than four times that of its nearest rival [IRI year end 2013]. It became Italy’s leading passata in 2008, and led in the tomato purée segment for many years, having been the first company to sell it in a squeezable tube. It is also the leading chopped tomato brand in Austria, France and Sweden.

“With a record of supporting growth with eye-catching marketing throughout the globe, Mutti is well-placed to make an impact in the UK,” said RH Amar brand manager James Amar. “The UK’s canned tomatoes category is worth £236m, and we believe Mutti can drive further growth.”

The importer has secured the deal with Mutti after parting ways with its previous Italian tomato brand, Cirio. Brand owner Conserve Italia has taken Cirio ­distribution in house.

Since taking on Cirio in 1995, RH Amar had taken it to the number two position in branded canned tomatoes, with sales of £11.5m [Nielsen 52 w/e 11 October 2014].