Unilever Bestfoods is aiming to bring a touch of sophistication to its Pot Noodle snack brand with the launch of three Posh' Thai variants.
It is backing the new arrivals with a £3m marketing campaign, expected to reinforce the brand's reputation for controversy and humour. Support will include TV ads, posters and sampling, all kicking off in April.
On shelf next month, the new Posh Noodle flavours ­ Oriental Sweet and Sour, Spicy Chinese Chicken and Spicy Chilli ­ contain noodles imported directly from Thailand.
Category manager Alistair Burgess said they were different from the standard Pot Noodle variants. "They are definitely more upmarket," he added. Like the rest of brand's portfolio, the newcomers target busy 20-something consumers. Packaging features the familiar Pot Noodle emblem, while sparkling shrink sleeves aim to bring a touch of glamour to the fixture.
Pot Noodle pioneered the pot snacks category and still accounts for around 85% of the market but it has met with controversy.
Its risqué 2002 Slag of all snacks' ads didn't curry favour with advertising watchdogs and the company switched to an alternative strapline, It looks dirty and it is'.
However, the campaign was very successful in sales terms. Sales of the brand saw an increase of 26% in its first four weeks.