"We identified through focus groups and market research that there was a gap in the market for a premium offering of Tex Mex American-style hot snacks," says Bryson Craske, Tony's son and commercial director. "We also did a lot of work researching the market in the US and looked at our manufacturing capabilities to start pulling together a range."
The company has come up with three products it is producing itself Pepperoni Bites (rsp: £1.99, 230g), Mozzarella Melts (£1.99, 270g) and Jalapeno Flamers (£2.29, 250g). And it has tied up with other manufacturers to offer Buffalo Wings, Onion Rings and Southern Skins, all of which will retail for around £1.99 (230g-275g).
Abergavenny says its target market is 18 to 35-year-old consumers looking for a staying-in snack or after-the-pub filler.
As well as setting up distribution agreements in six foreign markets, Abergavenny is also set to start feeding Rodeo Joe's into about 500 Co-op stores, Nisa, AF Blakemore Spar outlets, Morrisons, Safeway, frozen food wholesalers and has secured a four-week trial in seven Londis stores.
However, it is under no illusion about the difficulty of the task ahead. "Frozen food is a very difficult market and there is a perception of £1.99 being the maximum price point in frozen," says Craske. "But we believe the perception is retailer driven rather than consumer driven."
A marketing programme worth around £450,000 will include a two-packs-for-£3 offer, point of sale material, an on-pack promotion to win a trip to Texas, local radio and consumer magazine advertising.
As for predictions, the company is confident of achieving sales of around £500,000 between August and December, growing to £3.5m next year.