Sainsbury has launched a range of convenience meals designed to appeal to time-pressed consumers who prefer fresh food to ready meals.
Products in the Fresh to Cook range comprise raw ingredients - a protein and items of prepared fresh produce - that can be thrown together to create a meal in minutes.
Sainsbury is so confident the range will be a hit that it has simultaneously launched 12 lines under three categories: Healthy Options, Exotic Recipes and Modern Classics.
Each ingredient is stored apart in the pack, which was designed by Cryovac. It consists of a tray of protein, separated from pods of veg by barrier technology. The key
challenge was keeping the fresh produce in the packs looking good for long enough, said Cryovac sales manager Stephen Fieldhouse. “If chopped up, vegetable respiration accelerates, so it’s important to allow air in and out.” The pods in which the vegetables are stored are produced in a way that provides the permeability required by each type of vegetable. Some foods respire more than others, a factor taken into consideration. The pods, which sit on top of the protein tray, are designed to mimic the small bowls that are used by television chefs.
Examples of meals in the three ranges are: soy & honey pork with oriental spices and fresh pak choi; Thai red chicken curry with fresh peppers and lime; and beef with green peppercorn and brandy sauce and button mushrooms.
Sainsbury has launched the Fresh to Cook concept in 73 main stores and 44 convenience outlets, with a wider roll-out planned. The meals, said to feed two, retail at £5.99 each for around 600g.
They are merchandised alongside fresh convenient offerings, such as microwaveable packs of new potatoes.
Richard Clarke