Mary Carmichael
Princes is making its debut in canned pies, a move which takes it into territory dominated for decades by the Fray Bentos brand.
Rolling out now, the four initial recipes ­ Beef n' Beer, Steak & Kidney, Minced Beef & Mushroom and Chicken & Mushroom ­ are similar to those offered by its Campbell's-owned veteran rival.
Princes marketing director Neil Brownbill admitted the decision had been a conscious one "to establish a foothold in the market". He said other variants were under discussion.
Brownbill said Princes' long-term strategy was to grow its brand share in canned meat, so it needed a presence in certain categories.
According to Brownbill canned pies is the third largest sector behind corned beef and hot dogs, worth £22m and growing at just under 8% year on year.
"There is more than enough room for another brand here," he said. "Consumers want to cut down on preparation rather than cooking time, while baking and microwaving are growing."
Fray Bentos commands around 80% of the market and, until now, has faced little competition from other brands. Last year it launched its first ad campaign for years in selected regions.
Princes is supporting its newcomers' arrival with a try me free' promotion, giving consumers the chance to claim back the cost of their first purchase.