Carrot packer Huntapac is looking to do for carrots what Rooster has done for potatoes with the launch of Roots, its first-ever consumer-facing vegetable brand.

The company, which supplies root vegetables and salad crops to Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Booths, started rolling out Roots-branded carrots this week, with parsnips to follow in the autumn.

Huntapac is also considering extending the brand to prepared root vegetables and vegetable crisps in the future.

A branded offer in the root vegetable sub-category would create "theatre" in the category and add value for retailers, said Huntapac sales director Simon Trewin. "We would like to enjoy the success that Rooster seems to have ­enjoyed [in potatoes]."

Rooster potatoes, which launched in 2003, are ­currently worth £38.5m in retail sales [Kantar 52w/e 11 July 2010]. Huntapac is targeting £5m in sales for its Roots root vegetable brand within its first year of launch and £10m within three years.

Roots would trade on both the quality of the ­vegetables sold under the brand as well as the provenance of the Hunter family which established the business in 1942 by using the strapline 'quality is in our roots,' added Trewin. A recent £350,000 investment in a new camera grader at its Tarleton processing site would ensure the quality of the carrots, and the backs of packs would carry information about the Hunter family.

Only Nairobi variety ­carrots will initially be sold under the Roots brand, but Huntapac plans to add ­additional carrot varieties in due course.

The company will promote the brand which it has invested £300,000 in to date through a ­dedicated website and Twitter. It has also added Roots branding onto the backs of 40 lorries used by the company's haulage arm.

One-kilogram bags of Roots carrots went into Booths stores this week (rsp: £1.10); and Huntapac is talking to other major ­retailers about listings.