Lyons Seafood, the country’s largest supplier of prawns to the multiples, is to reinvent itself as a major branded player with the launch of a new range of seafood meal kits.

The company is launching the Lyons Seafood Co., a new brand it hopes to turn into a £5m brand in the next 12 months and a £20m brand over the next three years.

First to appear under the name is a four-strong range of seafood meals Malaysian King Prawn Laksa, Kerala Seafood Curry, Sweet Thai Chilli Prawns and Catalan Fish Stew.

Each pack (rsp: £5.99) contains fresh seafood, prepared fresh vegetables and a sauce in separate compartments, which can be stir-fried to create a meal for two people in five to six minutes. The products are going into 150 Sainsbury’s stores from 7 September at an introductory price of £4.99 a pack, with other listings be confirmed shortly.

To produce the new range, Lyons has invested £1m in a new ‘mise en place’ speciality preparation facility at its Warminster fish factory, which allows it to prepare the fresh vegetables for its meal kits itself.

The chilled fish category had been struggling lately, as cash-strapped consumers traded down to cheaper products, and there had been few examples of true innovation, said Lyons Seafood marketing director Paul Vita.”What we’re looking to do is get people into fish and increase frequency of purchase, particularly among younger shoppers,” he said. “There are ready meals out there, but they don’t serve consumers’ desire for fresh convenience, and unlike other products, we offer a complete meal solution, not just fish in a sauce.”

Lyons already provided seafood products under the Lyons Seafood brand, but had to date used its name largely as “quasi-own-label”, for example to run promotions, Vita added.

“We will remain primarily an own-label supplier, but a good third of our sales could ultimately come from the Lyons Seafood Co brand.”