Princes is attempting to launch tuna into the snacking category with a new cubed range that will be sold in Tetra Pak cartons a first for the fish category.

Tuna Bites, which debuts in November, comes in a Tetra Recart carton and three variants brine, sunflower oil and sun-dried tomato (rsp: £1.79 for 375g).

It marks Princes' first move into cartons for fish, although they are used for Napolina tomatoes, which are distributed by Princes.

The cubes, which can be eaten straight from the pack or added to salads and pasta, were more convenient, said Princes Foods marketing director Ruth Simpson. "It's important to offer the consumer choice," she added. "John West's canned No Drain Tuna, for instance, is quite dry."

Princes unveiled the NPD as it launched its first ad campaign in two years and revealed that year-on-year value sales of its fish had soared 25% in the year to August, while volume had risen 5.6% [Nielsen].

The ad campaign, which communicates the quality and versatility of the entire Princes portfolio, launches this weekend in Sunday magazines and runs until December.

The recession had created a favourable environment for such products, said Simpson. "The downturn has had a real impact on shopping habits with many people rediscovering the quality and value of ambient food a shift we're confident can be maintained," she said.

Value sales of canned fish have risen 14.7% this year but volume has fallen 5.1% [TNS 52w/e 12 July], reflecting the performance of the overall canned sector.