Heinz has spent £3m on a major rebrand and overhaul of its ambient pudding range, making them available in microwaveable pots for the first time.

In an attempt to introduce a younger audience to the traditional desserts, it has added two new canned rice pudding and custard lines to its six-strong range and rebranded them under the Taste of Home banner, first introduced in soups last year.

It has also extended the range, which includes sticky toffee pudding and spotted dick, into a single-serve microwaveable format. Extra sauce has been added to the sponges to give them an indulgent edge.

The existing range has a 45-plus age demographic. However, the new strategy will target young mothers with children aged five to 15.

"We wanted to convey the value of desserts that feel and taste homemade," said brand manager Christina Honigfort. "The range is now more indulgent and we think it will revive the canned business."

Taste of Home is going into Asda and Somerfield from 25 February and is expected to gain listings in other retailers later in the year.

The overhaul of the eight-year-old canned offer is the first redesign in five years and part of a plan to quadruple the value of its desserts business to £25m in three years, giving it a 9% market share. The existing canned business is worth £6.4m, with a 6% share of the market.

Heinz said it hoped the new packaging and extension into single-serve microwaveable pots would drive growth in the £380m ambient desserts category, which has 93% penetration, but declined 1.1% in value last year [IRI 52w/e 11 August, 2007]. This compared with 7.6% growth in the overall chilled aisle and a 2.4% decline in frozen desserts.

The £3m marketing push will focus on sampling activity, with a TV and press campaign later this year. It will also use price promotions to drive trial.