If it wasn't for the micro­wave, the twin-pot format wouldn't exist and it has certainly driven much of the new product development over the past year.

"I doubt a product could launch into the twin-pot market if it couldn't be microwaved," says Farmhouse Fare market­ing director Andrew Ovens.

While chilled family-sized puddings are normally cooked in the oven as part of a main meal at weekends, twin-pots tend to be eaten midweek when convenience and speed is key.

The microwave has also allowed traditional dessert manufacturers to move into the frozen food market.

"The flexibility of microwaving gives consumers more occasions to use a frozen dessert," says Paul Heritage, managing director at Aunt Bessie's.

"It can now play a role midweek as well as a Sunday roast it doesn't matter if you forgot to put the dessert in the oven or take it out of the freezer to defrost."

Farmhouse Fare launched its first frozen puds last month a 450g frozen Luxury Sticky Toffee and a Luxury Sticky Chocolate pudding. The two puddings, which have an rsp of £2.99 each, cook straight from frozen in four minutes.

Meanwhile, Aunt Bessie's relaunched its jam roly poly and Spotted Dick desserts in new microwaveable packaging in September.

Focus On Hot Desserts