A new British business is looking to shake up the baked beans category with the rollout of a range of premium chilled fresh products.

Proper Beans, which make their debut in Fortnum & Mason this week, will be available chilled in 330g tubs in four varieties: Smoked bacon & English Mustard; Sundried Tomato & English Mustard; British Fava Beans & Smoked pork Collar; and Ham Hock, Potato & Thyme.

The brand is the creation of former advertising executive Ben Mason, who said he was in discussions with other independent retailers and also planned to launch a hot food stand at a London market.

“It is crazy that tinned baked beans are a hugely successful universal product, and yet nothing has really changed with them in so many years,” he told The Grocer this week. “Why haven’t they improved like all the other food we eat?”

Mason said taste was the focus of his range. “You can’t reproduce a tin of baked beans at home; the ingredients are far too processed,” he added. “Proper Beans are fresh, handmade and there’s nothing in them that you couldn’t buy at the supermarket.”

The launch comes as sales of canned baked beans are in decline, with value down 1.7% to £344.3m on volumes down 0.6% [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 27 April 2014].

In its results for the 55 weeks to 29 December 2013, published last week, Heinz said sales of its beans had fallen in volume and value but claimed its market share had increased.