Tesco Katsu Curry recipe box web

Tesco’s Katsu Curry recipe box

Tesco has more than doubled the size of its recipe box trial following strong demand.

Forty branches are now stocking the meal kits - up from 12 when the trial began last autumn - and the range has been updated and increased from five to six SKUs.

Unlike the original five products, which were largely Mediterranean dishes, the six new lines focus on Asian flavours.

The meal kits include a chicken pad Thai; chicken katsu curry; Thai green chicken curry; Malaysian beef curry; prawn and chorizo paella; and Sri Lankan sweet potato curry.

Prices range from £7 to £9, as opposed to the original pricing point of £8 for all meal kits.

Tesco food to order buyer Emma Williams said the initial 12-store trial, which began in autumn, had proven “extremely popular”.

“The recipe boxes are hugely popular with time-pressed customers looking for meals that are great value, use high-quality fresh ingredients, but can be prepared quickly and conveniently,” she said.

Retail analyst Store View said the product would appeal to customers looking for both convenience and “the joy and satisfaction of preparing a decent meal”.

“My opinion is that they need to work on the box a little bit more, especially if they want to appeal to the Express and Metro format customer. The box can be flimsy and a little large for carrying on to the Tube or other transport, but I suspect they will work on this,” it said.

“Overall, it’s a winner. There could be a lot of scope with this product and it represents better value than similar solutions in the market.”

Last autumn, Waitrose trialled meal kit bags priced from £8 to £12 in its stores. But it later abandoned the initiative to focus on providing meal suggestions at meat and fish counters. It is currently trialling a recipe box delivery service.

Sainsbury’s has also dipped its toe into the recipe box market through its tie-up with HelloFresh, which is selling £10 meal kits for two in selected stores.