Spam fritters, a school dinner staple of the 1970s, are being launched as a branded product.

The new arrival, which hits chillers this month, also marks the first move of Monty Python's favourite meat into the chiller.

Owner Hormel Foods wants its new line to harness nostalgic interest in traditional foods and also hopes to attract new and lapsed users to the brand.

The packs consist of four fritters - pieces of chopped pork and ham product in batter - at an rsp of £1.99.

They are designed for oven-baking rather than frying, in a nod to healthier eating, an aspect that has raised some concerns among supermarket buyers. "It will probably to appeal to consumers' nostalgic streak but it doesn't really fit with increased health consciousness," said one.

The company emphasised the products were on a par with the health credentials of other family dinner regulars. "They are in no way positioned as a healthy product, but are comparable with breaded oven-baked chicken breasts and perfect as part of a balanced diet," said a company spokeswoman. "Each 80g fritter contains around 12% fat and the fact they are ovenbaked makes them a healthier option."

Swen Neufeldt, general manager, Europe, said the company had received a huge number of requests to introduce a fritter product, adding that the brand's appearance in the chiller cabinet would introduce it to a new type of consumer.

He described the fritters as an "ultimate comfort food" building on Spam's recent resurgent popularity, claiming a 26% increase in value in the last four years.

Limited edition lines have been added to Spam's basic canned portfolio, including a Stinky French Garlic version, linked to the UK launch of stage musical Spamalot in London. The new line will get support from the ongoing Spam Up TV ad campaign, backed by sampling.