A new brand is hoping to get the vegetarian sausage category sizzling with a six-strong range of vegetable-based bangers boasting a veggie-friendly casing it claims tastes and feels just like regular sausage casing.

The category, which has been given a major fillip by the horsemeat scandal, is currently dominated by mycoprotein and soya protein products like those sold by Quorn and Cauldron.

Secret sausages, by contrast, are made with vegetables such as peas, peppers and carrots, as well as rice, water, herbs and spices, and three sausages count as one of consumers’ five-a-day.

They are available in chilli & coriander, rosemary & garlic, Cumberland, Honey Bee and cheese & spring onion and Lincolnshire flavours (rsp: £3.49 for a pack of six), and are Vegetarian Society-approved, kosher and gluten-free.

They also feature a vegetarian casing - made from seaweed and rice - that crisped up when cooked and provided a similar mouthfeel to a traditional meat sausage casing, said the company.

The hope was that this would persuade more vegetarians and meat eaters to give meat-free sausages a try.

During a sampling session at the Ideal Home Christmas show, 88% of consumers said it was the best vegetarian sausage they had eaten, claimed director Rachel Wicklow.

With interest in vegetarian options on the rise in the wake of the horsemeat scandal, the time was right for a high-end veggie sausage brand, she added. “It couldn’t have come at a better time for us.”

The company has secured a listing with Whole Foods Market and will go into its Kensington store in the next couple of months.

The sausages can already be purchased online, through the secret-sausages.com website.