High street confectioner Thorntons has kicked off a campaign to expand its grocery portfolio with a new range of luxury 500ml ice cream tubs.

Rolling out to Safeway, Booths and Budgens stores this week with other listings planned, the range is based on products previously sold exclusively through Thorntons’ own retail outlets.

All four initial flavours - Vanilla Truffle, Chocolate Seville, Toffee Brazil and Almond Praline (rsp: £3.69) - are pitched at consumers who buy Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s.

Trading and marketing director Philip Doughty said the range, which will be manufactured, marketed and distributed by Quality Brands, was “part of a broader extension of the Thorntons brand into biscuits, cakes and desserts in grocery channels”.

He said the company planned to expand distribution of its branded cakes and chocolate bars to other outlets when its exclusive deal with Tesco ends this month.