Bisto is hoping to use its brand heritage to restore trust in the Horsegate- tainted frozen ready meals category with its own take on two dishes at the very heart of the scandal - a beef lasagne and spaghetti bolognese.
Launching now, it is adding the two lines to its existing seven-strong frozen ready meals range, which is made under licence by Kerry Foods.
The brand is supporting the launch with ads - appearing in the national press and women’s magazines from Monday - bearing a ‘trust Bisto meals’ rosette as well as a ‘made with meat from trusted sources’ claim.
Spaghetti and lasagne were two of the most popular frozen ready meals with consumers, said a Kerry spokeswoman. “This is a deliberate strategy by Kerry Foods to provide consumers with a trusted option from a heritage brand,” she added.
Kerry would not name its meat supplier, but said all meat was sourced from Britain and Ireland, and that it could be traced back to farms.
“We do not and have not sourced any beef from any manufacturing sites proven to have misleadingly supplied horsemeat or products containing traces of horsemeat,” said the spokeswoman. The company did not deal with meat traders and was “in full control of the mincing process”, she added.
Bisto beef lasagne and spaghetti bolognese will go on shelf in independent retailers from 1 April, (rsp: £1.50), but are available to all retailers.
Testing on Kerry Foods’ products has shown no presence of horsemeat, and no pork DNA has been found in any of its beef products.
On Wednesday, a Which? survey indicated 24% of shoppers were buying fewer ready meals with meat in.
The Bisto brand can be found in 57% of British households, according to brand owner Premier Foods.