A burger brand from New Zealand is launching a new premium frozen burger that it believes will provide a welcome boost to the category’s quality credentials in the wake of ‘Horsegate’.

Anzco Foods, which supplies own label and Longdown-branded lamb to Waitrose, plans to launch the Angel Bay range of melt-in-the-middle burgers this year.

It is initially seeking listings with foodservice companies but it is already eyeing their potential to be sold at retail and was sampling at this week’s IFE show.

“They’re already in retail in New Zealand and Australia and that is a definite plan once we get some traction in foodservice here,” said Robyn McArthur, Anzco business development manager UK. It would be targeting retail in six months’ time, she added.

The four-strong range comprises three beef burgers containing feta & spinach, caramelised onion and plum fillings as well as a mint and apple-filled lamb burger.

All the meat was sourced from New Zealand, but none came from auctions or meat traders, said Anzco.

The burgers, which are already available in 17 countries worldwide, also differed from other frozen burgers in that they looked home made, it added. “The home-style appearance appeals to those of us who don’t like the entirely uniform look of something that has been mass-produced by a factory,” it said.

The burgers are part-cooked and can be finished off in the oven from frozen in 20 minutes, or ten minutes from thawed.

Angel Bay’s UK entry comes as UK burger sales have nosedived after horsemeat was identified by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland in a number of frozen own-label burger ranges in January. Earlier this month, Kantar revealed frozen burger sales were down 42% in the wake of the scandal [4w/e 19 February 2012].