Boxed range from William Jackson

William Jackson Food Group has followed Iceland’s lead by unveiling a range of frozen ready meals in environmentally friendly paper packaging.

Under the new brand Boxed, the premium meals for two - akin to Charlie Bigham’s chilled lines - will be available from this month in trays made of sustainably sourced paperboard and produced via a process “largely run by bioenergy”.

The lineup is being launched after about 18 months’ development - a large part of which had been spent on “getting the right packaging” said William Jackson. It was the result of “much greater awareness of the environmental challenges that plastic brings” the Aunt Bessie’s owner added.

Each Boxed meal is covered by non-recyclable plastic film. William Jackson said it had been unable to find a sustainable alternative but would “keep looking”.

Five variants will roll out on 12 March to 195 Tesco stores: Tikka Marinated Chicken Jalfrezi with Naan Dumplings, Aubergine & Courgette Parmigiana, Smoked Haddock & King Prawn Fisherman’s Pie, Mac & Cheese, and King Prawn, Chicken & Chorizo Paella (rsp: £7/700g-820g).

The new brand comes weeks after Iceland unveiled its first frozen own-label ready meals in newly developed paper and pulp trays - introduced as part of the frozen food specialist’s commitment to become the world’s first major retailer to eliminate plastic from all its own-label packaging within five years.