Australian low-calorie pasta and rice alternative brand Slendier is joining the growing number of products made from the konjac plant being offered to UK consumers.
Slendier, which is fat and gluten free, will be available in the UK as a five-strong range comprising: spaghetti, angel hair, fettuccini, noodles and rice-style (all rsp £2.19). The range, which Slendier said contains just eight calories per 100g compared with about 300 calories for real pasta, is being marketed by Echo Partners and rolling out to healthfood wholesaler Tree of Life next month and Ocado in early October.
Slendier claimed the products tasted similar to normal pasta and that its packaging was more consumer friendly than some konjac products.
It added that it hoped to replicate its success in Australia, where it sold more than 1.5 million packs last year and is stocked by retailers including Coles and Woolworths.
Slendier is the latest in a string of products made from the Asian konjac plant, the root of which can be dried and milled to make a flour. In Japan, konjac has been used to make konnyaku (yam cake) for centuries, but has only come to the attention of Western suppliers and consumers in recent years.
It contains a substance called glucomannan, which is high in fibre and reported to suppress appetite by making the stomach feel full. It has been sold as a dietary supplement and is now increasingly being used as a food ingredient.
Japanese konjac-based Zero Noodles launched in the UK last year, with Holland & Barrett’s initial stock selling out in two weeks. Two weeks ago, Dragons’ Den viewers saw the konjac-based Bare Naked Noodles brand secure £60,000 in funding from Peter Jones. It launched into Holland & Barrett this month and hopes to secure a supermarket listing by the end of the year.