Launched: March
Manufacturer: Scratch
Scratch started out life at a few London markets from where it sold its scratch-cooking boxes. Each box contains fresh, uncooked ready-prepared ingredients and instructions to cook a meal from scratch as an alternative to a takeaway.

Priced at £4.50 to £5, the exotic dishes include North African style merguez bangers n' fresh harissa mash with chunky courgettes and spicy red onion gravy, a red Thai vegetable curry and a Moroccan chicken and fragrant couscous tagine. The brand has gained listings in several London independent stores as well as some London Budgens, and plans to grow in London next year before looking at national roll-out.

It also offers home and office deliveries and is relaunching this month with new packaging to improve standout in-store and increase shelf life.

Patak's oven bake
Launched: September
Manufacturer: AB World Foods
Patak's launched oven-bake biryani in September, claiming a first-to-market with the format. "We know that consumers have previously struggled to create authentic biryani dishes at home, with complicated recipes and a fear of oven-cooking rice being the main stumbling blocks," says Tracy Hughes, AB World Foods consumer and trade marketing controller. With the three-strong biryani range it hopes to add to its credibility as an authentic brand and appeal to people cooking from home rather than opting for takeaways. Patak's previously focused on developing sauces and pastes, but believes there is a gap in the market for consumers who prefer to cook using the oven.

Relaunched: February
Manufacturer: Enco Products
Caribbean sauce brand Encona was relaunched in February, expanding its repertoire to flavours from the Far East, Asia and the Americas. Under the new sub-brand Taste Explorers, the range still includes old favourites, such as West Indian Original Hot Pepper Sauce, but now has other exotic flavours, including Thai Chilli & Ginger Sauce and Indian Sweet Mango Chilli Sauce. It has also added an American chilli ketchup, its first line targeted at families. The sauces have already proved popular, with sales of Encona up 16.8% year-on-year for the period of February to May [IRI]. Enco predicts the range will broaden the brand's appeal.

Blue Dragon Japanese
Launched: November
Manufacturer: AB World Foods
Blue Dragon claims it is the first major player to get behind Japanese. With 15% of adults eating Japanese either at home or in restaurants, according to Mintel, the size of the category is comparable to Caribbean [Mintel Ethnic Cuisine Report, March 2009].

The eight-strong range, out this month, includes Chilli Sesame, Ginger & Sesame and Sesame, Soy & Spring Onion Yaki Sauces, Ramen, Soba and Udon Noodles, as well as a Katsu Curry cooking sauce and a Katsu Curry Meal Kit.

"By demystifying what is perceived as a challenging cuisine, we aim to attract new consumers into the Oriental category while maintaining authenticity," says Tracy Hughes, consumer and trade marketing controller of AB World Foods.

Focus On World Cuisine