Cow and Gate Friends Starter Pack 3

Cow & Gate is rolling out a range of vegetable pouches under new sub-brand Friends.

Illustrated with vegetable characters, the range is broken into four stages dubbed Beginner, Discoverer, Explorer and Friends Forever. The first stage comes in a starter pack (rsp: £2.79) with one pouch each of four flavours: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and peas.

The other three stages are sold as individual pouches (rsp: 95p to £1.79). Each is available in four flavours based on the same four vegetables, but gradually introduce carbohydrates and proteins.

Although Cow & Gate already makes fruit pouches, this is the first time it has sold savoury baby food in a pouch.

The Friends range will launch in Asda stores on 10 January, followed by Tesco in February, and other supermarkets later in the year.

“Friends from Cow & Gate aims to highlight an important part of a babies’ weaning journey,” said brand manager Ruby Huang. “We know that by encouraging vegetable intake during the weaning period, parents can establish healthy habits that last a lifetime. By the use of fun, vegetable characters, we hope parents and babies learn to love veggies for life.”

Cow & Gate’s three main brands of wet baby food – Baby Balance, Fruitapura and Cow & Gate – had combined sales of £33.8m this year, down 4.8% year-on-year [Nielsen 52 w/e 11 October 2014]. Ella’s Kitchen, which pioneered the pouch format, is now the category’s leading brand, with sales of £39.6m.