McCain believes its latest launch will revolutionise jacket potatoes in the way the company shook up the chip market in the 1970s.

The company has compared the launch of its frozen Ready Baked Jackets - which can be heated in a microwave in five minutes - with its roll-out of McCain Oven Chips in 1979.

Set to hit supermarkets from Monday, the potatoes will be sold in two and four-packs (rsp: £1.99). They contain no artificial flavours or colours and, according to McCain, are produced by “cross-cutting British potatoes, drizzling with sunflower oil and slowly oven-baking them”.

The company said the launch followed research that revealed consumers were put off preparing baked potatoes by long cooking times.

According to a report issued by the Potato Council last summer, consumption of jacket potatoes had fallen 4% since 2010, with the biggest decline in lunchtime consumption.

“This is McCain’s most significant launch in years,” said McCain Foods head of brand Mark Hodge. “It will revolutionise jacket potato eating in the UK.”

The launch is being supported by a £6m marketing push that breaks with TV advertising on 4 February. Additional marketing support includes PoS, press, online, social media and outdoor advertising.

“There is a big opportunity for McCain here,” said Richard Buchanan of branding agency The Clearing. “The company reinvented the chip category by focusing on great-looking products that delivered on taste and texture and if anyone can do the same for jackets it is McCain.”

But the company won’t have the market to itself. In 2007, Bannisters’ Farm launched microwaveable frozen baked potatoes (rsp: £1.89-£2/four-pack) into Morrisons and has since expanded into Tesco, Waitrose, Iceland, Nisa-Today’s and Booths.

Co-founder Rob Bannister said he was surprised how similar the McCain product was to his company’s concept. “But imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” he added.