Launched in November last year in Waitrose and Sainsbury, the majority have been snapped up by other major retailers, including Safeway and Asda, and the range has gained praise from such hard-to-please critics as the Observer Food Monthly magazine.
With total sales of £124,000 to the year ending November 3, 2002 [Information Resources], the brand has made a creditable start in achieving the company's ambition to harness interest in the South American lifestyle. It is not destined to make a big impact against the likes of Dolmio, which leads the £515m cooking sauces category, but it has created its own place in the market.
The company aims for an authentic approach, with raw materials sourced directly from South American suppliers and flavours based on the South American diet, which favours corn over wheat, is low in fat and high in protein.
Rocoto Pepper & Ginger Moqueca is the star performer so far, with Chilean Tomato Chilli and Lime Escabeche not far behind, although the Colombian Citrus and Chilli Cream sauce has yet to achieve listings.
MD Elaine Underwood, a former boss of Sharwood's, said better-known countries such as Brazil and Chile would always be ahead in consumers' comfort zones but it was important to push boundaries.
A range of Latin American rices has already been added to the portfolio and more newcomers are planned.