T6056 TASTY BITE Punjabi Lentils 285g

Source: Mars Foods

The six-strong range is the result of a year’s planning

Mars Food is eyeing the street food and flexitarian trends with its first UK NPD for Tasty Bite, the Indian ambient ready meals brand it bought in 2017.

The result of around a year’s planning, six vegetable-based recipes are set to roll out to Tesco and Asda this week, providing “bold, modern and great-tasting Indian dishes” according to Mars.

They include Punjabi Lentil, Bombay Chickpea and Delhi Potato & Chickpea Curry (rsp: £1.99/285g) – all made on a 23-acre farm outside Pune, south-west India, where Tasty Bite was founded more than 25 years ago.

The brand would bring a “modern street food twist to the traditional Indian segment” Mars said. It would also appeal to “consumers looking for meat-free or vegetarian meal options”.

With Tasty Bite meals being ambient and microwaveable in 60 seconds, they were also “very, very convenient” added Mars Food marketing director Clare Dawson.

The launch will be backed by a sampling campaign, as part of the ambition “to drive Tasty Bite to be one of the nation’s favourite brands similar to Uncle Ben’s and Dolmio” she said.

It comes with value sales of Indian ready meals being worth £436.7m across grocery, having added 4.3% [Nielsen 52 w/e 7 October 2018] – and it follows Mars’ summer 2017 acquisition for an undisclosed sum of Tasty Bite owner Preferred Brands International.

Mars Food said the deal brought together “two strong food businesses focused on delivering healthy, tasty and convenient foods that bring inspiration and enjoyment to the world’s dinner table”.