Quick Cuisine UK is launching an eponymous range of self-heating ready meals next month. "We realised that after two revolutions in the food business - fast foods and microwaveable meals - the third revolution would be self-heating," says MD Gail Murphy. "We want to provide consumers with an alternative to a sandwich - a healthy home cooked-type of meal that can be eaten hot whenever and wherever you choose."
The technology behind the concept is not new but Murphy believes the new product is superior to what the competition can offer. "There are other self-heating meals available," she says. "But the manipulation is complicated, not consumer-friendly, and the quality of the food is not of a high level."
Quick Cuisine UK is part of large Swiss group Indawisa, based in Zug, and its products are already listed in many major outlets in France and the US.
Here, Murphy has her sights set on listings with major retailers, petrol stations, outdoor leisure and sporting shops, c-stores, universities, security companies, hospitals, the army, and the emergency services. Booker has already come on board and the launch kicks off in the cash and carry next month.
The line-up comprises Burgundy beef; chicken tikka masala and rice; ravioli stuffed with vegetables in tomato sauce; paella del sol; chilli con carne and curried beef with lentils, all in 300g packs with a suggested rsp of £3.50. The meals contain no chemical preservatives, have a shelf life of 18 months, and only need to be stored at room temperature.
"The meals are sterilised, which is the best possible way to preserve the quality and the vitamins of any meals," says Murphy. "The fact that Quick Cuisine comes with a throwaway microwaveable oven is an additional convenience."
At present, there is no above-the-line budget earmarked for the Quick Cuisine brand but the company is putting money behind display stands and point of sale material and the spend will be increased around and following the launch.
The parent company also produces other self-heating products under the brand names HotBox and Press 'n' Heat, and Murphy says there are plans to add self-heating beverages to its line-up over here, with soups likely to be first off the blocks in the not-too-distant future.