Noble Foods is spreading its wings beyond the traditional hen egg with the launch of a new premium speciality egg brand called Posh Birds.

The Happy Egg Co owner soft-launched the new brand earlier this autumn, with a view to staging a proper launch for Posh Birds in the new year.

At present, the range comprises two SKUs – a pack of six free-range duck eggs (rsp: £1.99) and a pack of 12 “free to fly” quail eggs (rsp: £2.99) – but Noble Foods said it planned to add further variants, including “speciality hen eggs”, in 2012.

The quail eggs are currently stocked in 257 Tesco stores, with the duck eggs listed in 325 Tesco stores.

Aside from flagging up the eggs’ free-range and free-to-fly credentials, Posh Birds packs carry information about the breed of bird behind the eggs and highlight usage occasions – the duck eggs are hailed as being ‘brilliant for breakfast’, while the quail eggs are touted as being ‘sensational in salads’.

Noble Foods marketing director Steve Horton said the new brand would deliver a boost to the speciality egg category.

“Posh Birds will reinvigorate the premium egg sector by giving consumers a reason to buy and inviting new consumers into the category,” he said.

It would also make the speciality egg category more accessible to mainstream shoppers, predicted Andy Black of the design agency Springetts, which designed Posh Birds as well as The Happy Egg Co.

“We wanted a cheeky name for a product that’s trying to be best in class rather than a class above,” he said. “Speciality eggs can be quite aloof and for the discerning few rather than something that is proactively marketed to shoppers.”

The launch of Posh Birds will see Noble Foods go head-to-head with a number of smaller suppliers, most notably premium egg stalwart Clarence Court, which already sells a wide range of speciality eggs, with products stocked in Waitrose, Ocado and Sainsbury’s, among others.