New Covent Garden is beefing up for winter with what it claims are the first "extra chunky" soups to hit the chilled fixture.
The Big & Bold range of single-serve pots (rsp: £1.89), the brand's first non-carton soups, come in chunky beef & vegetable, chicken & vegetable, vegetable & pearl barley, chicken curry and Italian meatball & pasta flavours, and roll out next week.

They contain larger chunks than New Covent Garden's existing chilled soups and would replicate the success chunky soups have recorded in the ambient category, where they account for 20% of total sales, the brand predicted.

Last winter, sales of ambient chunky soup rose 7% in value and 6% in volume [Nielsen 20w/e 20 February 2010] and the launch would encourage consumers to trade up from canned formats, said senior brand manager Nick Munby.

At £1.89 for a 450g pot, Big & Bold pots are 10p cheaper than New Covent Garden's regular soups, but 150g smaller.

"Neither we nor Yorkshire Provender or Glorious! have previously tapped into the trend for thicker, stew-like soups in such an explicit way," said Munby.

He expected consumers to buy the pots as a midweek dinner and said they would be supported with New Covent Garden's first national television campaign, later this year.

The Daniels Group company has previously only run regional television ­advertising.