Kerry Foods is set to go head to head with diet giant WeightWatchers with a new range of frozen ready meals under its Low Low reduced-fat cheese brand.

The Irish food giant is launching eight Low Low-branded ready meals into the mults later this month.

Four will be standard frozen ready meals (rsp: £1.50) - chicken tikka masala with rice chicken, tomato & basil pasta minced beef hotpot and sweet and sour chicken with rice.

The other four will be so-called ‘steamers’ (rsp: £2) - frozen meals that come in steam bags and contain one portion of a consumer’s five-a-day. This line-up comprises: sweet chilli chicken noodles chicken white wine with pasta chicken biryani and chicken and chorizo paella.

Kerry declined to say which retailers would list the products, which will all contain fewer than 350 calories.

The move marks the first use of the £10m Low Low brand outside chilled dairy, but Kerry said ready meals were a natural extension of the Low Low proposition. “There is a growing desire for convenient snack and meal solutions that are satisfying, healthy and deliver on taste,” added brand manager Maeve Judge.

The UK’s market for healthier frozen ready meals is worth £69m [Nielsen MAT 52 w/e 31 December], and WeightWatchers is the market leader by some distance, though its sales have been sliding. According to The Grocer’s Top Products survey, it was worth £47m last year, down 16.8% year on year.

Judge said Kerry expected Low Low ready meals to drive growth in the category. “We are confident that this latest innovation will continue to accelerate brand growth, attracting loyal customers to the frozen food category whilst supporting our retail partners,” she added.