A new brand of salad that has been marketed to eat hot or cold is being launched by PDM Produce. Wok or Not has been created to invigorate the bagged salad sector, which has stagnated as a result of poor weather and a struggling economy, according to PDM. It offers consumers the option of eating the leaves cold as part of a salad, or incorporating them into hot stir fries.

The first offering in the new range, which features a blend of baby leaf, pak choi, red Russian kale, red chard and spinach, goes on sale in Co-op stores in October, although further lines are expected to be rolled out in future. By promoting the product as a hot and cold innovation, the brand will be more protected from the sales slump that has hit lettuce as a result of the last two summer washouts, said MD Philip Maddocks. It also gave it more potential for consistent year- round sales, he added.

“Wok or Not presents the consumer with a weather-resistant salad choice that can add incremental growth to the category by encouraging consumers to use salad more widely,” said Maddocks. “Such product versatility and impactful packaging will also bring new shoppers to the fixture.” The new salads, which have an rsp of £1.99 for a 165g bag, were also good value as their versatility would mean less wastage, said Maddocks. The packs will include recipe suggestions and information on the salad leaves. A £500,000 advertising campaign including consumer press, in-store promotions and tastings will accompany the launch.

Although the company is launching into a branded salad category in which only Florette is a household name, PDM sees Wok or Not as complementary and creating a new product sector rather than competing with its larger rival, said Maddocks.

PDM is the fourth-largest producer in the UK lettuce market, with a turnover of £15m. It supplies a range of products to Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Co-op, Aldi and Somerfield.