Two of the UK’s biggest rice brands are hoping to tap growing interest in wholegrain rice with new pouched ready-to-heat products.

Mars-owned Uncle Ben’s is launching wholegrain versions of some of its bestselling flavours, while Tilda is rolling out two wholegrain basmati pouches that also contain quinoa.

The launches come as sales of wholegrain rice have risen 82% over the past three years, making it the fastest-growing segment in the ready-to-heat category, said Mars, citing Nielsen data for the 52 weeks ending 17 May 2014. The supplier added that wholegrain had delivered 53% of ready-to-heat category value growth yet accounted for only 10% of value sales.

“Some consumers believe wholegrain varieties are hard to cook,” said Uncle Ben’s brand manager John Artley. “This range addresses this by offering a quick and easy option.”

The Mars line-up rolls out on 15 September and comprises 250g pouches in four flavours: Savoury Chicken, Pilau Rice, Egg Fried Rice and Spicy Mexican Rice in 250g pouches (all rsp: £1.69).

Tilda is rolling out two 250g wholegrain products - Garden Vegetable & Quinoa and Brown Basmati & Quinoa - from the end of August (both rsp: £1.59). Tilda said it hoped the products would provide consumers with an introduction to quinoa, which is often regarded as a ‘superfood.’

“These will appeal to consumers driven by wellbeing and those who are already buying wholegrain,” said Tilda.