Princes is making its first entry into ready meals with an ambient product it claims rivals the taste and quality of fresh alternatives.
Quick Eat! is a long-life ambient pot range of light meals including a mix of protein and carbohydrate in a single microwaveable plastic pot, making it a real innovation in ready meals, said the company. It is part of Princes’ diversification plans in food and drink that aim to double turnover to £1.5bn by the end of 2006.
Launched at Anuga, the range comes in five flavours - chicken tikka masala, chicken in mushroom sauce with pasta, beef bolognese with pasta, green Thai chicken curry with rice and tomato & mascarpone sauce
with rice. Further lines are planned for next year.
The products were made initially for Marks and Spencer, but encouraging sales prompted Princes to launch a branded offering. Each comes in a 330g serving with an rsp of £1.98, competitively priced to offer a hot alternative to sandwiches.
Quick Eat! uses packaging technology already well established in the US, according to Remmelt Jongkind, marketing director at Princes Foods Manufacturing. The meals are sealed by a ringpull metal lid to ensure freshness. To cook, consumers remove the lid, replace the plastic outer lid and microwave for two minutes.
The rice or pasta is also separated from the meat to ensure product quality.
Jongkind said: “No other product is available in the snacks or ambient food aisles that can effectively compete with fresh ready meals. We are the first food manufacturer to launch this type of long-life ambient light meal in the UK and our research suggests that we’re filling a gap in the market.”
Asda is stocking the meals this month and Princes aims for listings with other multiples.
<<p72 Anuga
Hapless restaurant owner Bruno Lissoni continues his fight to survive against competition from Goodfella’s pizzas in the product’s latest TV ad, this time for the new Solos variant. The commercial, on from this month until after Christmas, is part of Northern Foods’ £5m marketing spend behind the single-portion individual pizzas.
Stefan Chomka