Ginsters is making its first foray into frozen, launching a range into Iceland that will go head to head with Greggs.

This month, an Original Cornish Pasty and a West Country Cheddar & Onion Pasty (rsp: £2 for a twin-pack) will hit Iceland freezers ahead of a wider rollout early next year.

The brand is looking to tap into strong growth in the frozen savoury pastry category, which is now worth £149m, up 8.8% on last year [Nielsen 52 w/e 10 June 2012].

Earlier this year, Brian Stein, former CEO of brand owner Samworth Brothers, told The Grocer it was “a tough market” because shoppers perceived quality to be poor and were not prepared to pay a premium.

Ginsters head of brand marketing, Andy Valentine, said the brand would challenge such perceptions by offering “top-quality ingredients” and “superior taste” combined with the value shoppers expected from frozen.

“Ginsters has a national following and we feel we can help grow the frozen market further,” he said. “Our products bring reassurance with recipes using great-quality ingredients.”

The brand faces tough competition from rival Greggs, which already has nine frozen savoury lines - including Cornish pasties (rsp: £1.75 for two) - as well as branded freezers in Iceland. The retailer has an exclusivity deal with Greggs, but this ends next April when the products are expected to roll out to other supermarkets.

Ginsters had strong taste and quality credentials that would stand it in good stead in frozen, said Claire Nuttall, senior partner at brand consultancy 1HQ.

“Ginsters is a very different brand to Greggs and I think there is a role for both,” she added. “I would trust Greggs for out-of-home food, but I think Ginsters has stronger credentials for in-home meal choices.”