Ready-to-cook specialist Bigham’s has launched a new branded range of premium microwave meals called Steam.
The eight-strong range, which has just gone into Waitrose, includes a list of upmarket dishes such as pesto Salmon, Florentine chicken and Atlantic cod. However, consumers will be asked to dig deep into their pockets if they want to take one of the 370-390g chilled meals home, with each retailing for between £3.99 and £4.79.
Nick Parker, marketing director for Steam, said: “Our mission is to create healthy, fresh ready meals. By using the latest packaging technology, we can incorporate the health benefits of steaming food with the convenience of a microwave.
“The price is a conveyor of the quality message,” he added. “Its price will not come down but there will be some promotions.”
In fact, Waitrose plans to put half the range on a 25% price promotion during August.
The meals, which contain raw ingredients, are ready from the microwave in five to seven minutes and offer “a whole new experience you can’t get from conventional pre-cooked ready meals”, Parker said.
He added that he expected Steam to be a £1m brand within a year and said new recipes and products would follow.
A spokeswoman for Waitrose said it had chosen to list Steam because it expected the range to be a hit with customers. “The range offers a quick and convenient microwaveable meal solution. Recipes are sophisticated and use the freshest ingredients.”