Heinz is moving into the pre-packed sandwich market for the first time – using its sauces as a key selling point for the 19-strong range.

The Heinz line-up, which is being rolled out across convenience stores next week, consists of sandwiches, baps, sub rolls and wraps, all featuring the company’s popular sauces. The brands used in the products, such as Heinz Salad Cream and Heinz Tomato Ketchup, are highlighted on packs to give the range “instant appeal”. Pitched as an “everyday good food” range, the products are priced from £2.35 for a tuna & sweetcorn sandwich to £2.75 for a cheese & bean wrap.

They are manufactured by Freshway Foods and distributed by Kerry Foods.The move was a natural next step for the brand because its condiments are already a staple in many homemade sandwiches, said Adrian Mooney, marketing director at Heinz sauces.

The range will initially be launched into c-stores, forecourts and newsagents, but this could be followed by a move into the multiples, Mooney said. “Making an impact in the convenience channel is our first step, but we are not ruling out making a foray into supermarkets in the future.”

Heinz faces strong competition in the £408m on-the-go convenience sector from brands such as Ginsters, but it would have an edge because it is “already a trusted brand”, Mooney claimed. Some industry experts have expressed concern over the brand extension, however.

“There is a danger Heinz could lose its focus, which would result in brand confusion,” said Don Williams, CEO of branding and design consultancy PI Global.

Brand agency Dragon also questioned the wisdom of entering the sector when more lunchboxes were being made up at home, with consumers potentially trading down as they tightened their belts. Special-edition sandwiches would be launched throughout the year, kicking off with a Deli Mayo Moroccan sandwich later this year, Mooney said.

“This move will also encourage trial of our sauces,” added Mooney.