Princes is making a major move into plant-based with a new brand called Plot9.
The brand has debuted with a trio of ambient meat-free meal pots in a bid to “connect with younger, flexitarian audiences”.
The range “challenges traditional dehydrated pot snacks with store cupboard meals that incorporate wholesome chunks of real veg – nothing dehydrated”, said Princes, and contains no artificial flavours or preservatives (rsp: £2.50/260g).
It comprises Thai-Style Chickpea Curry with Aromatic Rice, Rich Lentil Bolognese with Wholewheat Pasta, and Smoky Chipotle Bean Chilli with Long Grain Rice flavours.
Each SKU contains two separate recyclable pots, one of which contains a sauce “rich in pulses, veggies and spices”, and the other a portion of pasta or rice. They can be microwaved and ready to serve in two minutes.
The brand was developed “after seeing the growth in demand for plant-based products and identifying a real opportunity to stand apart in this rapidly evolving and competitive sector”, said Plot9 marketing director Alan Eriksen.
“We found many products focus on replicating meat occasions, which isn’t necessarily what a flexitarian consumer always wants, and often doesn’t deliver on taste or texture.”
Princes wanted to “challenge the industry with a veg-first attitude that makes plants the hero of every dish, for ‘zero-compromise’ convenient meat-free meals that still pack a punch when it comes to flavour and quality”.
The Plot9 range will hit Morrison’s and McColl’s later this month, followed by Sainsbury’s in October.
Princes plans to expand the brand with further NPD planned for early 2022 in other categories backed by an above-the-line campaign “encouraging shoppers to ‘pledge to plants’ and embrace more meat-free product choices”.
It comes as Princes earlier this month unveiled a quartet of plant-based canned ready meals – Lentil & Mushroom Bolognese, Mexican Mixed Bean Chilli, Vegetable Green Thai Curry and Chunky Mixed Veg Curry – under its eponymous brand, and revealed plans to significantly expand its vegan offering over the years to come.