Fast-growing lads’ snack brand Rustlers is going head to head with Pot Noodle by launching its own noodle pot.

Unlike Unilever’s ambient Pot Noodle, Rustlers Noodles Pot Snacks are a chilled product containing meat. The two variants, Oriental Pork and Chicken & Mushroom, will carry a £1.99 rsp compared with the typical £1 price tag on a standard 90g Pot Noodle.

With Rustlers growing 27.4% year-on-year to £83m [Nielsen 52 w/e 24 December 2013], owner Kepak said it wasn’t looking to stretch the brand beyond its core audience of 15 to 34-year-old lads, but was increasing the opportunities to tap into that market. It was also taking advantage of growth in chilled food, and flagged up Kantar Worldpanel research that revealed consumers go to the fridge for food and drink 42 fridge times a week against 24 visits to the cupboard. “The chilled market, however, still needs to grow its share of total microwaveable food, providing profitable alternatives to lower-value ambient products,” said Kepak marketing director John Armstrong, adding that the company’s research had found 70% of Rustlers consumers also bought Pot Noodle.

The launch is being supported with TV advertising later this year.

Noodles Pot Snacks will roll out next month, when Innocent will also launch chilled noodle pots. Armstrong said there was room for brands targeting different types of consumer: “One group might want a snack before their zumba class, another group before popping out for a game of five-a-side.”