Princes is claiming a market first with the launch of a chicken range in microwaveable pouches to attract younger consumers to ambient meats.

The six-strong range, hitting shelves now, includes three 200g varieties to be eaten hot as a main meal with rice or as a jacket potato filling. Three 85g options positioned as ideal for salads and sandwiches complete the line-up. The hot products come in sweet & sour, Thai red and Thai green curries while coronation chicken, light mayonnaise and tikka options make up the cold menu.

The move follows research that showed more than 73% of households bought canned meat, but poultry accounted for just 1% of total category sales, said marketing director Neil Brownbill.

“We spotted a gap in the market for a premium-quality chicken range that could compete with chilled alternatives and ready-made sandwich fillers,” he said.