Three new desserts and three ready meals are joining the range early next month, with existing products getting improved recipes. The entire portfolio is also getting a packaging makeover a year after its last redesign.
The new ice cream-based desserts are Caramel Crunch, Mochaccino and Chocolate Top. They come in packs of two with an rsp of £1.49 and count towards three points in the WeightWatchers diet plan.
New to the ready meals range are Thai Red Curry, Creamy Chicken Tarragon and Chilli Con Carne, which will be available in single-serve portions, with prices ranging from £1.69 to £1.99.
A £2m TV campaign that breaks in January and runs until early March - traditionally the key dieting season - will support the company's entire Weight Watchers from Heinz range, including its desserts for the first time.
Ads will focus on the taste of the products as well as their low-calorie credentials, in a bid to get people to reappraise the range.
The products will benefit from WeightWatchers' first generic advertising campaign for its food lines, which is running in the new year (see below left), although it won't feature any of these Heinz lines.
John Garnett, MD of Heinz's frozen division, said the advertising push and NPD was part of a renewed effort by the company to drive growth in frozen food. "There is a lot of innovation in the category, but a lot of people don't know about it. It would be remiss of us not to be shouting about it as loud as we can. "We want to make sure there is a lot of noise in the category and around the whole idea of healthy eating in frozen."
WeightWatchers from Heinz is worth £103m and is growing in value at 11% year-on-year [IRI 52 w/e 7 October 2006].
According to Heinz, it is the only frozen dessert brand in growth, up 53% in value for the same period.