The Loyd Grossman brand is making its first foray into the Italian bake sauces market with a range of two-portion jars designed to appeal to the growing number of smaller households.

The Italian bakes market - which currently consists mainly of mainstream recipes in a four-portion format targeted at families - rocketed 21% in value to £23m last year [IRI 52w/e January 2009].

The Loyd Grossman Al Forno range would appeal to food connoisseurs and would fill a gap for a

two-person option while providing greater variety, said Matt Brown, head of marketing for sauces at brand owner Premier Foods.

"Over half the spend on Italian bakes comes from young professionals, so there is a definite opportunity for a more gourmet offering," said Brown. "The quality credentials of Loyd Grossman make it the perfect brand to cater for this consumer."

The range, which is being rolled out now, consists of tomato & parmesan with pancetta pasta bake; creamy tomato, spinach & ricotta pasta bake; sun-dried tomato & olive with rosemary vegetable bake; and a spicy Italian salami with smoked chilli potato bake (rsp £1.99 per 400g jar).

The Premier Foods-owned brand is also extending its traditional Italian sauces portfolio this month to include larger 660g jars (rsp £2.29) aimed at 'foodie families'. The larger Bolognese sauces will be available in mushroom, roasted garlic and garden vegetables flavours.

Premier plans to replicate the move for its Indian sauces range in July, giving them an rsp of £2.49.