The company has won the rights to heating technology used by the US army and emergency services during the floods in New Orleans.
Its Crosse & Blackwell branded Hunger Breaks meals, in chicken curry, chicken cacciatore, burgers & beans and steak & vegetable varieties (rsp: £2.99) use lighter, cheaper and more reliable technology than has been
previously tested on the UK market, according to Premier. By pouring a pouch of salty water on to a heater pad, a chemical reaction is started that heats the food in 10 minutes.
Premier Foods has struck a deal to supply meals to rower James Cracknell and TV presenter Ben Fogle, who set off this week on a 3,000 mile rowing race across the Atlantic.
A £500,000 marketing campaign showing the importance of having a heater meal in the boot, as well as in forecourts for truckers, is being launched. Premier Foods’ head of convenience brands, Martin Hall, said: “People making sure they have something warm in the car to eat, as well as hikers and walkers, represent a significant opportunity.
“These meals are also highly nutritious and taste good, so are presented in a foodie format.”
Self-heater meals have failed to take off in the UK, although players such as Hotcan have won mainstream listings and believe that the category has huge potential. A high profile casualty was Nestlé’s self-heating hot drinks, which flopped two years ago because of unreliable technology.
Premier Foods’ meals have won listings with Palmer & Harvey McLane, Nisa and Spar.
Mexican food as an easy, versatile and fun way to cook is the theme of a TV campaign for General Mills’ Old El Paso, starting on Monday (December 5). With a strapline of ‘Taste the Fun’, it shows consumers determined to give their family and guests a good time, despite busy lifestyles and lack of cash. Mexican ready meals are the third favourite after Indian and Chinese (The Grocer, November 19, p49).