Mars Food is using Seeds of Change, its organic foods business, as the blueprint for the launch of its first new brand in nine years – targeting the ‘gastrosexual’. 

PurAsia, a six-strong range of ethnic meal kits, is launching exclusively into Tesco for a nine-month period from next week in an unusual departure for the multinational company. The intention is to build a loyal following for the brand, rather than seek mass-market appeal, in order to establish it early on as a premium product.

The kits, of which two are Indian, two Thai and two Chinese, are designed to bridge the gap between traditional cooking sauces and restaurant-quality food. 

Each kit contains three separate sachets of onion and garlic paste, an Asian paste and a sachet of whole spices or aromatic oil. They carry a premium price tag of £3.29.

PurAsia is the first brand to join Mars’ portfolio since its purchase of Seeds of Change in 1997 and continues the company’s move into more niche areas. “We have learnt from Seeds of Change, which is not massive in relation to other Mars brands but which has been very successful and is growing well,” said marketing director Paul Aikens. “We have realised that we don’t have to behave like a mass-market company with every launch we do, which is why we are launching first just into Tesco.

The brand will target the ‘gastrosexual’, typically a male aged between 25 and 44 years old who loves to cook, loves to be seen cooking and loves getting the praise for it.

“The gastrosexual is an emerging consumer,” said Aikens. “Cooking for this new generation of men isn’t simply a matter of refuelling; it’s an enjoyable experience and helps to form part of their identity.”

A £1m press and internet advertising campaign will support the launch, including a PR campaign supported by former England rugby star and Celebrity MasterChef winner Matt Dawson, the personification of the gastrosexual man, according to Aikens.