Exclusive Mary Carmichael Baxters is having a second go at the chiller cabinet with the launch next week of an eight strong range of fresh soups. The company's initial attempt at becoming the first big ambient brand to expand into chilled soup came in January 2000 but that range, manufactured by a third party, was withdrawn late last year. Baxters has now invested £10m in its own production facilities in Grimsby. Marketing and sales director Robin Lambie said the company still saw chilled fresh soup as the way to go. "Household penetration for fresh soup is only 15%, compared to 80% for canned," he added. The new range includes three chicken recipes and five vegetable combinations. Six new winter flavours will be launched in the autumn (rsp: £1.69 - £1.99). The 600g resealable, microwaveable cartons feature the familiar Baxters logo, royal warrant and the signature of chairman Audrey Baxter, but have a white background and tartan lids. Baxters is doubling marketing support this time to £2m. Press ads are due in June and July issues of Sunday supplements and celebrity magazines. Posters and radio ads will be heavily weighted towards London ­ chilled soup's biggest market. Sampling in health clubs, and coupon door drops are concentrated in listing hot spots. Lambie added that the launch timing emphasised how far the soup market had deseasonalised ­ particularly the chilled sector. "It's now about a whole meal occasion rather than just a course," he said. {{MARKETING - P&P }}