Premier Foods’ Sharwood’s is venturing into Indian side dishes in microwaveable pouches in a bid to reverse declining sales.

The new range, which includes Bombay potato, saag aloo, tarka dahl and vegetable curry, is available now in 300g pouches [rsp: £1.49]. Premier claimed it would plug a gap for upmarket, easy-to-cook side meals of the same standard as restaurant dishes.

“Similar recipes are a key offering in Indian restaurants but there are limited quality offerings in retail,” said Paul Bright, brand ­controller.

“The growth in Indian accompaniments, convenience products and microwaveable rice demonstrates the significant opportunity for a quality offering in this area.”

Last year sales of the total Sharwood’s brand fell 2% to £33.1m [Nielsen]. The launch will benefit from a TV campaign kicking off in April as well as promotions and sampling.