Premier Foods’ Loyd Grossman brand has made its chilled food debut with a new range of pizzas.

The range launched into Sainsbury’s this week in three flavours: Napoli salami, classic margherita and chicken arrabiata. Each pizza is priced £3.99 but is being rolled out with a promotional £2 price tag to encourage trial.

The pizzas were a natural extension for the Loyd Grossman brand, said Matt Brown, head of marketing for cooking sauces. “We found a gap in the market with which his brand values fit very well,” he says. “Some 64% of consumers who purchase the brand also buy into chilled pizzas so there is a clear opportunity to tailor a range of pizzas for the Loyd consumer.”

The pizzas enter a fiercely competitive category dominated by the Pizza Express retail brand which increased sales by 14.8% to £52.9m over the past year [Nielsen] and own label, which accounts for 81% of chilled pizza sales [TNS].

“Loyd Grossman could struggle to make an impact as it is trying to muscle in on a tough competitive market,” said Giles Lury, director of branding at The Value Engineers. “However, pizza tends to be about the topping so the range could benefit from Grossman’s sauces heritage.”

Premier Foods’ total range of Loyd Grossman products has recorded 9% sales growth to £57.5m over the past year [IRI 52w/e 3 October 2009].

The previous brand launch into chilled pizza was by Northern Foods, which introduced the Signatore range under its Goodfella’s umbrella in 2007. It was pulled in spring 2008, however, following poor sales.