Quaker is stepping up the pressure in an area dominated by rival Weetabix with the launch of an instant hot cereal for kids.

The company is launching microwaveable Oatso Simple Smoothies next month. As one buyer said, it is likely to have to win over Ready Brek fans to make a real impact on shelf. Quaker category controller Sue Temple said the company had identified an “exciting” opportunity with the three-flavoured brand, which comes in seven-sachet packs containing two each of strawberry and vanilla and three of toffee (rsp: £1.60).

The company has earmarked more than £2m for a marketing campaign kicking off in October. A £400,000 sampling campaign will see free sachets given away with packs of Sugar Puffs.