Ginsters is making its first foray into ready meals next week, spearheading a £6.5m relaunch of the entire brand as it continues to diversify from its core pastry offer.

The three-strong Real Meals brand, a premium pots range, has been designed to plug a gap for a "quick-to-prepare quality offering with nutritious food values", said Andy Valentine, head of brand marketing. It consists of beef & peppered dumplings, pasta bolognese and chicken tikka & rice. The single-serve pots cook in the microwave in four minutes.

The range will be available in c-stores and forecourts nationwide from this month. Valentine predicted it would clock up sales of £5m in its first year, rising to £10m after three years.

In 2006, the company launched a range of deep-fill hot pies and also made an unlikely move into fresh fruit to broaden its appeal. However, it moved away from health-based offerings after its reduced-fat and calorie sub-brand Deli Bake failed to take off.

The ready meals will be the first to display revamped imagery for the entire portfolio, which is to be relaunched in May, including more on-pack emphasis on the brand's Cornish roots.

The NPD and relaunch will be flagged up by a press and outdoor campaign also kicking off in May followed by TV ads in the autumn based on the brand's 'Real Honest Food' strapline.

"We know that provenance and quality are key issues for consumers and thought it was time we began to shout about how our products reflect this," added Valentine.

In the past year, Ginsters pastry sales have risen 11.4% to £60m [TNS 52 w/e December 2007], boosted by a strong performance from the brand's 'Pasties of the world' range, which has generated sales of £3.5m since its debut in April last year. A New York deli variant is set to join the menu later this year.